Gold Medal Essay Competition

Subjects for 2018

Subjects for 2018
For millennia the Ancient Silk Road served as an important network of trade and culture between East and West, facilitating the peaceful movement of people, trade, wealth and ideas between Asia and Europe from the third century BC till its collapsein the 15th-16th century AD, when the Maritime route to Asia was discovered by the Europeans. The OBOR / BRI has been billed by the Chinese government as an effort to revive the economic integration that nations along the historic Silk Road once enjoyed.The plan, which seems to have political, strategic and geo-economic shades,has gained much attention worldwide, but questions remain on what China’s initiative actually implies and what would be its larger security implications for the IPR and the world. The OBOR / BRI itself is not a new construct, but connecting the old, ongoing and some future projects under one narrative. President Xi Jinping first proposed developing the “Belt and the “Road in separate speeches shortly after taking office in 2013. In his speeches he drew on history to promote the idea of stronger economic interconnectivity between China and its neighbours. It was unveiled in September and October 2013 during Xi Jinping’s visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia revealing the SREB and MSR respectively, the land-based "Silk Road Economic Belt" (SREB) and the oceangoing "Maritime Silk Road" (MSR). The plan took concrete form in March 2015, when Premier Li Keqiang announced in his National People’s Congress government work report that China would be promoting the OBOR / BRI by developing regional infrastructure networks between China and its neighbours. The action plan released in March 2015 clarified the routes envisioned by the new network:  “The Belt”,also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt, refers to the land-based routes that pass into Southeast Asia, link Central Asia with Russia and Europe, and link the Middle East with Southern Europe.  “The Road”,also known as the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the refers to the sea-based routes from the South China Sea into the South Pacific Ocean, and into the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean via the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, or BRF was held on May 14–15, 2017 in Beijing, and drew 29 foreign heads of state and government and representatives from more than 130 countries and 70 international organizations. It appeared more as a showcase event to indicate that a Rising China was ready to take on leadership at the global stage. On October 24, 2017, the Communist Party of China (CPC) adopted a new version of the Party Constitution. Along with the Thought of Secretary General Xi Jinping, the constitution now includes the OBOR / BRI concept as the basis for China’s economic growth — Xi’s trademark geo-economic concept that is now used to explain almost every move that China makes outside its borders. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been nominated as the flagship of China’s OBOR initiative. China under Xi is determined to show the developing and the under-developed nations that a contrarian model to the Western narrative exists for economic and overall growth – socialism with Chinese characteristics. Xi Jinping showcased the same during his speech to the 19th Congress in Oct 2017 and in his New Year speech to the nation, wherein he stated that socialism with Chinese characteristics could be the path for developing nations to follow to achieve modernisation. It sees a great opportunity of expanding its sphere of influence in Asia and Africa, amongst the global South, where it could sell this narrative and so realise its ‘Dream’. The OBOR / BRI, with CPEC as its flagship, appear to be the initiative to secure this opportunity. With the above as background, carry out an analysis of the OBOR / BRI to assess the security implications for India and the IPR and what should be the response strategies to the same. The essay should address the following issues, (a) Analyse the architecture of OBOR / BRI, what are the projects, how is it to be funded and how is it to be executed? What are the geo-strategic, geo-political and geo-economic implications for the countries that are part of it, for India and for the IPR? (b) What does CPEC consist of and how does it impact India’ssecurity? How does it impact the geo-strategic and geo-political balance in South Asia and what are the possible consequences toPakistan’s future? (c) What are the overall security implications for India and the IPR? What are the response strategies available to counter the same for India and the IPR?
Group B : Open to Officers upto 14 Years of Service
India – A Net Provider of Security In Indian Ocean Region (IOR) – A Road Map
The first time that such a sentiment was formally expressed on an international stage was at the 2009 edition of the “Shangri La Dialogue” organized by International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), wherein Mr. Robert Gates, who was then Secretary of Defence of the United States, said, “We look to India to be a partner and net provider of security in the Indian Ocean and beyond….”. The most categorical and unequivocal declaration of this intent occurred at the Prime Ministerial level, when the erstwhile Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh said — “…We live in a difficult neighborhood, which holds the full range of conventional, strategic, and non-traditional challenges ……….. Our defense cooperation has grown and today we have unprecedented access to high technology, capital, and partnerships. We have also sought to assume our responsibility for stability in the Indian Ocean Region. We are well positioned, therefore, to become a net provider of security in our immediate region and beyond…”. Prime Minister Modi during his address to the Combined Commanders Conference in 2015 said “ India’s transformation is closely linked with our international partnerships. And so is our security….. Across the world, India is seen not just as a new bright spot of the global economy, it is also seen as an anchor for regional & global peace, security and stability…… Our responsibilities are no longer confined to our borders and coastlines. As our security horizons and responsibilities extend beyond our shores and borders, we must prepare our forces for range and mobility”. This is relatively a new term and we need to analyse what it implies and what are the nuances of the term. It is commonly said that securing India’s national interests and addressing security concerns of ourneighbouring governments would constitute providing net security in our strategic area of interest. But it is much more than this. The term net security provider is usually meant as enhancing mutual security of more than one country by addressing common security concerns, including dealing with transnational piracy, or responding to disasters, etc. Specifically, it encompasses four different activities: capacity building, military diplomacy, military assistance and direct deployment of military forces to aid or stabilise a situation. Capacity building refers to the training of foreign forces—both civilian and military, either at home or by deploying trainers abroad. Historically, India has a good track record at conducting this type of assistance as it allows personnel from various countries to avail of its training and educational institutes. In relative terms, this is not only cost effective, especially for developing countries, but also convenient as English is used as a medium of instruction. Second type of activity which enhances security is military diplomacy, mainly through military visits and exercises. Such activities can bolster foreign militaries and signal strong bilateral relations and partnerships. India has been very active in this regard, as it engages various militaries in exercises, port calls and visits. Third type of activity is that of military assistance, primarily by supplying equipment. India has displayed some ambivalence in undertaking these activities. India has displayed a reticence in exporting lethal arms and ammunition and is currently ranked 41st among top arms exporting countries in the world. Explanation given is that India’s domestic arms industry has not been able to produce marketable items. Fourth type of activity is the direct deployment of military forces to stabilise a situation arising either out of an environmental disaster, trans- national threats, and evacuation of citizens from conflict areas or to protect self-defined national interests. Such deployment of troops has the potential to be the most controversial, both domestically and diplomatically. There will be Acceptance if troops are deployed in Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations or evacuation of citizens from unstable areas. However, using military force for operations outside one’s territorial borders may attract negative attention. In view of the above, carry out a study to draw a road map for India to fulfil its goal of becoming a net provider of security in IOR. The essay should also address the following :- • India’s national interests and the role of the armed forces. • Efficacy of building Defence Industry under ‘ Make in India’ programme. • Contours of Defence Diplomacy in our context. • Capacity building for an Out of Area Contingencies.


United Service Institution (USI) of India and Amity University Collaboration

United Service Institution (USI) of India and Amity University Collaboration in Defense Studies and Strategy- 27 Aug 2018 A glittering MoU signing ceremony was held at the Amity University on 27 Aug …


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