Bhatia, Swayam. "INDIA'S POLICY MILIEU: A SERIES OF DIALOGUES." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, vol. 3, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 243-288, ijsser.org/more2018.php?id=17. Accessed 2018.
Bhatia, S. (2018, January). INDIA'S POLICY MILIEU: A SERIES OF DIALOGUES. Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, 3(1), 243-288. Retrieved from ijsser.org/more2018.php?id=17
Bhatia, Swayam. "INDIA'S POLICY MILIEU: A SERIES OF DIALOGUES." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research 3, no. 1 (January 2018), 243-288. Accessed , 2018. ijsser.org/more2018.php?id=17.
As a science student, I gave vent to my growing interest in international relations, policy making,
nuclear non-proliferation through participation in Model United Nations' conferences,
parliamentary debates, and online courses in law, corruption and environmental law and policy,
I was keen to pursue my passion for these subjects in a more structured format and thus applied
for the Yale Young Global Scholars Program in International Affairs and Security. It was here
that I felt a sense of liberation and delved into topics like cybersecurity, workings of the FBI,
nuclear non-proliferation, etc. I along with three others authored a research paper on nuclear nonproliferation
as a part of the YYGS Capstone project. This enriching experience led me to taking
independent research projects that had been close to my heart, but lack of know-how dissuaded
me to venture into it.
I was keen to intern in one of the think tanks in Delhi during my summer break of 2017.
However, none of the think tanks and research policy institutes take high school interns. I was a
bit disappointed but what sparked off after this was an idea to have dialogues with policy
analysts. I started mailing to experts in policy-making in various fields that interested me. The
journey began in August, and after many discouraging responses, I got acquiescence from four
experts in varied fields. I am truly grateful to all of them who have taken out time, despite their
hectic schedules and travel.
I have chosen four topics under policy-making including Counter-Terrorism, Nuclear NonProliferation,
Climate & Food Security and Cybersecurity. Each topic is explained in a questionanswer
format. I prepared questions on each topic with a purpose to understand the real scenario
through their voices. In Counter-Terrorism, I have touched upon the sensitive issue of the IndoPak
relation, the rising influence of China, the power tactic employed by Russia and the role of
U.S.A. in matters about terrorism. When it comes to Food Security, it's an issue that is very
important for a developing country like India. On one hand we are a growing economy, on the
other hand, hunger levels do not see a decline, what seems to be the hidden reason behind this chasm-delving thus into the Food Security Act and its hurdles, climate constraints for an agrarian
country like India and moving on to Africa, that has been too suffering from severe malnutrition
and drought issues in many of its states. In my dialogue exchange regarding Nuclear NonProliferation,
my focus is not only the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but the reasons behind
its inefficacy, its loopholes, and the challenges that the world is facing due to countries like
Russia, China, North Korea, India and U.S.A in this whole gamut of the nuclear power play.
Cybersecurity is an area that recently caught my interest. I had attended a lecture conducted by
Professor Ted Wittenstein on 'Cybersecurity' at Yale Young Global Scholars Program this
summer which shaped my perception about how it has become a national policy priority for all
nations, something I never perceived earlier. Cybersecurity in a holistic manner encompasses
economic, social, educational, legal, law-enforcement, technical, diplomatic, military and
intelligence-related aspects. I was fortunate to get the support of an expert in Cybersecurity, Mr.
Subimal Bhattacharjee, who also agreed to become my research mentor for "India's Policy
Milieu." I was keen to understand the various malicious actors involved in cyber threats who had
aims beyond economic gains. Issues like the rising influence of China in the field of espionage;
the actors behind the Stuxnet worm; the use of cyberspace in terrorism and the misleading Trojan
horses in the field of cybersecurity; cases of espionage by Russian based alliances were a matter
of concern for me. When I first met Mr. Subimal Sir and discussed the Cyber-Security
questionnaire briefly, he recommended me to read one of his articles on cyber-related issues; I
found a lot of my answers from his published report.1 Despite very hectic traveling, he took out
time to meet me again and patiently responded to my queries, peppering our discussions with
current global issues to help me understand a topic I was not adept at. There is a need for the
development of policies to support the development of a more robust cybersecurity industry
sector; partnerships with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to address the botnet threat and a
strategic cybersecurity R&D programme.