This monograph examines India’s rapidly expanding network of influence in Africa. The author analyzes the country’s burgeoning public and private investments in the region as well as its policies vis-à-vis African regional organizations and individual states, especially in the security sector. After reviewing the historic role that India has played in Africa, the author looks at the principal motivations for India’s approach to Africa—including the former’s quests for the resources, business opportunities, diplomatic influence, and security—and Africans’ responses to it. In the context of the broader U.S.-India strategic partnership, as well as American political and security interests in Africa, India’s willingness to make significant contributions to African peacekeeping and to extend its maritime security cover to the continent’s eastern littoral ought to be welcomed, not least because of the potential positive impact on regional stability and development. Consequently, the author believes the opportunity thus presented in Africa for greater engagement between the United States and India ought to be seized upon.
NDTV on 24SEPT12 reported on Israel’s Haifa municipality and its efforts to remember the Indian soldiers who helped liberate the coastal city during World War I. As reported, many of the soldiers who lost their lives in the process are still buried in Israeli cemeteries.
While western powers continue to tighten the screws on Iran’s oil exports, India, the world’s fourth largest oil importer, continues to remain one of Iran’s largest customers after China.
Accordingly, Iran has continued to occupy a major space in India’s energy import basket although at a lower level as a supplier of crude. While the US has been pushing Saudi Arabia to help fill the gap left by Iranian exports, India doesn’t want to depend too heavily on ersatz Saudi supplies as it could weaken New Delhi’s position in future price negotiations. In addition, it has become apparent that India’s foreign policy position on America and Iran is to try to back away from taking either side.
Released on 18SEP12, Salman Rushdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton, is still on the shelves in India without any perceivable controversy. As any follower of Rushdie knows, Joseph Anton, was Rushdie’s pseudonym created by combining two of his literary heroes: Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov. Aptly named, the book details the 9 years spent in hiding starting from Valentine’s Day 1989, when Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death fatwa against him for allegedly insulting Islam in his novel “The Satanic Verses.”
In an attempt to restore purchasing power capacity of India’s debt ridden State Distribution Companies (or Discoms), the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a Transitional Finance Mechanism whose measures include: Financial Restructuring, Tariff Setting & Revenue Realization, Financial Subsidies, Metering, Audit and Accounts Monitoring.