Cultural Heritage Has a Lot to Teach Us About Climate Change

While cultural heritage sites are under threat from rising sea levels and melting permafrost, indigenous knowledge such as that of Assam’s Majuli communities can provide the key to unlocking adaptive climate change strategies. (Republished from The Conversation and The Wire) Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing […]

India and its Energy Sovereignty

In recent times, India has been pitted to overtake Japan as the third largest economy by 2030 and yet the India’s macro-economy doesn’t seem to be robust as the rupee has continued to slide against downwards, and can be expected to be cheaper than ever by end of the year. Part of the problem lies in India’s dependency on oil imports. Until now India had a smooth ride owing to the oil price crash from $100 to $40. However, now the prices have climbed back to $75 making India vulnerable to factors such as inflation, increasing current account deficit and […]

Earth Overshoot Day and Our Environment Real-Time

As per the Global Footprint Network (GFN) the world has already consumed this year’s annual budget of natural resources. Having reached its maximum limit on 1st August itself, the earth overshoot day serves as an annual report card, reminding us of our promises to reduce carbon footprint, control climate change and conserve our environment. Notably, humans already overshot nature’s annual budget in early 1970s itself and ever since this has been creeping up. Another significant fact is that every day, every minute past the overshoot day is equivalent of drawing down from the natural resource savings than living of interest. To understand […]

Africa: Playground for Asian Powers

Importance of Africa has increased manifold in the current geopolitical climate. In particular, the three Asian economies China, Japan and India have adopted a more muscular approach, as the resource rich continent features high on their global agenda. Given the three countries are in competition for influence, both within Asia and beyond, they are keenly investing in Africa’s infrastructure, energy and development sectors, seeking growth as strategic partners and markets. The Asian alignment for Africa comes at a time when the US has adopted a more isolationist approach and the African economies are bearing the brunt of commodity price fluctuations, […]

Energy Policy Making for Optimal Resource Management

The global oil demand is expected to remain healthy for the next few years, especially in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. Though currently suffering from a slowdown due to the US-China trade war and the rise in renewable technological innovation, one cannot simply write-off oil or for that matter any other conventional fuel like coal or gas, as it forms an integral part of the new energy mix of many nations (both developing and the developed) even today, which deploy tools of policy making for the purpose. However, the new energy mix, of the present age, brings the […]

Environmental Bearings on Culture & Traditions

  Geography and its environmental makeup has had a profound effect on the people and their culture and tradition. Why is it that houses in some regions have flat roofs while others slant— why is it that certain regions specialize in cotton linen attires while others in thicker clothes— Why is it that in some cultures the dead bodies are buried while in others cremated— Is it only religious motive or does it go beyond that…. Culture most certainly leans heavily on environment. Be it topography, climate or raw materials— environment is decisive factor in the inception and structure of […]

Protectionism, Migration and Environment

In recent times there has been a rise of protectionist policies and revisionist states. Democracies have increasingly being voting for nationalist leaders, in order to escape globalization and its extended upshots — increased immigration, unemployment, job competition, better revenues etc. However, one should remember globalization has been taking place for eons of centuries and it is here to stay. Simply closing your economy, enhancing tariffs or plugging the migration trend will not help. With technological advancements and innovations, the world is interconnected and interdependent more than ever.  Established trade links, or formation of new ones for that matter, serve as […]

India’s Foreign Policy in the New Eurasian Discourse— Re-Connecting Central Asia

2018 has begun on a high note for India— with top diplomatic meets organized with key Eurasian State-Leaders. Be it Indian Prime Minister visiting West Asia or Iran signing a dozen MoUs with India or Jordan’s King Abdullah exploring India-Jordan relations in a three-day visit. All, in recent times, highlight India’s active persuasion of Eurasian nations— Russia, Central Asia and West Asia to be more specific. Given the abundance of hydrocarbons and their strategic location on the world map, it is natural for India, an emerging global power— albeit with scanty energy resources, to seek bilateral ties in the region. […]

Suez: World’s Geopolitical Chokepoint

The geo-political academic landscape is currently dominated by China’s One Belt One Road initiative. Often viewed as part of the country’s expansionist policy, OBOR aims at reviving the silk routes, lost in the pages of history; and establishing new ones to reinstate commercial authority. Significant to this is mapping out the shortest trade routes around the world. In this regards then, OBOR is no different from what the world has been attempting to do since 19th century albeit at a larger scale; when the French and Egyptians together constructed the Suez Canal, and British partaking in exploiting this geographical chokepoint. […]

Fossil Fuel Policy for Mitigating Climate Change

Climate change poses a glaring challenge for the present generation who fast needs to mitigate the causes of the same in order obtain a sustainable world. This definitely calls for complete phase out of fossil fuels which have been instrumental in enhancing the calamity. The social optimum by today’s standards requires an immediate aggressive renewable fuel intervention apart from a gradually rising carbon tax which falls in the long run. As more and more renewables are used in relation to fossil fuel, faster will be the advent of carbon free era. And as more fossil fuel will be locked up […]