Posts By Mandakini Devasher Surie

In The News

Desecuritizing Transboundary Water in South Asia

September 17, 2014

Severe floods in the Kashmir region of Northern India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have taken 450 lives so far, and uprooted thousands of residents on both sides of the highly politicized border. Heavy monsoon rains caused the Chenab and Jhelum rivers (tributaries of the Indus River system) to overflow their banks…

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In The News

Decoding India’s Historic Election Results

May 21, 2014

Nearly two months, 930,000 poll booths, 1.7 million voting machines, and over 500 million voters later, India’s marathon election concluded last Friday. Across the country, people were glued to their TVs as the results began to come in. By the evening, the outcome was clear – the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), in opposition for the last 10 years, had won a landslide victory. Capturing a staggering 284 out of 543 parliamentary seats, this is the first time in India’s independent history that a non-Congress party has won a clear majority in the lower house of parliament. On May 26, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat and BJP leader, Narendra Modi, will be sworn in as India’s 14th prime minister.

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In The News

India’s Youth in the World’s Biggest Election

April 9, 2014

Election fever is at an all-time high in India as polling for the 16th general elections began on Monday. In sheer numbers, the election is the largest in the world, with 814 million people registered to vote for 543 representatives of the lower house of parliament at nearly a million polling stations between April 7 and May 12.

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In The News

Transparency Needed for South Asia Transboundary Water Cooperation

March 19, 2014

In 2008, Nepal and India experienced one of the worst river disasters in their modern history, when the Kosi River breached an embankment flooding vast areas of terai Nepal and northeastern parts of Bihar, India. The floods caused tremendous loss of human life and property, affecting an estimated 50,000 Nepalis and 3.5 million Indians. A tributary of the Ganges and a transboundary river that flows through Tibet, Nepal, and India, the Kosi River is prone to seasonal variations in river flow and sediment discharge, resulting in frequent downstream floods.

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In The News

Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party Eyes India’s General Elections

February 19, 2014

After only 49 days in government, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister, dramatically resigned last week. His announcement came after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was unable to introduce the anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly. The bill was blocked by members of the Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party…

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In The News

Corruption in India and the Rise of the Aam Aadmi Party

January 22, 2014

Delhi’s new chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has publicly declared a war against corruption in India’s government. Within weeks of assuming office, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or the Common Man’s Party, set up an anti-corruption helpline…

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Notes from the Field

Transboundary Water Cooperation Key to Easing South Asia’s Water Woes

March 20, 2013

More than 75 percent of Asia-Pacific countries lack water security, according to a new report released last week by the Asian Development Bank. Compared to other regions, South Asia is a hot spot where inequity of access to water is the highest. The region supports more than 21 percent of the world’s population, but has access to just over 8 percent of global water resources. As rapid population growth and urbanization increase demand, water is increasingly a scarce and precious resource in South Asia. Even as the complex environmental consequences of climate change, deteriorating river ecology, and growing urbanization continue to unfold new challenges for the region, South Asia’s water woes could be significantly mitigated through improved water governance…

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In The News

Facebook Arrests Ignite Fury over Internet Regulation in India

December 5, 2012

India’s online community has been buzzing since the arrest of two young women by the Mumbai police last month for posting comments on Facebook criticizing the city’s shutdown following the death of veteran Shiv Sena leader, Bal Thackeray. The arrests of Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan sparked public outrage across the country, and drew criticism from civil society, media, and the government. Telecom Minister Kabil Sibal described the arrests as “unfortunate,” and renowned Indian personalities, such as author Shobha De, anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal, and others, expressed their dismay on Twitter.

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In The News

India’s Censorship Struggle

February 29, 2012

Moviegoers in India were disappointed this month when producers of the critically acclaimed Hollywood film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” cancelled the film’s release in India. The decision followed demands by the Indian Censor Board to cut scenes that were deemed “unsuitable for public viewing in their unadulterated form.”…

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In The News

What Greater Trade Liberalization in South Asia Would Mean for Consumers

February 8, 2012

Global economic recovery in 2012 remains tenuous, with the World Bank recently downgrading its forecast for this year’s global growth from 3.6 percent to 2.5 percent. This slide in expectations and persistently high unemployment rates in many countries has sparked a resurgence of protectionist tendencies toward trade. These tendencies are couched in the language of “bringing jobs back,” while tariffs are euphemistically coined as “flexibility” needed to protect domestic producers. South Asia has suffered for decades from a low level of intraregional cooperation, both politically and economically.

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