South Asia and Beyond

India Will Come Back Stronger, Better Able To Take On The World Post Crisis: Hardeep Puri

NEW DELHI: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented governments all over the world with challenges but India with its size, diverse population and an estimated 25-million-strong Indian community abroad, has faced a stricter test than many other nations in ensuring a cohesive and united response to the “invisible enemy.” In an interview with StratNews Global Editor-in-chief Nitin Gokhale, Hardeep Singh Puri Minister of State for Civil Aviation explains that though India’s decision to impose an early lockdown has ensured that it has fared better than other countries, there was always a realisation that the government would have to devise a plan to cater to Indians stranded abroad. This has resulted in a phased exercise by the Civil Aviation Ministry to bring back Indian nationals beginning May 7. Puri indicated that all domestic and international flights will remain closed for now, but he expects India’s aviation industry to bounce back faster and stronger than other markets due to the strong domestic demand and the fact that India is the third-largest aviation market in the world. As Minister of State for Commerce, Singh expects the Indian economy to get back on track with the government having slowly opened up essential sectors such as agriculture and construction; the issue of migrant labour remains his biggest challenge. He believes the confidence being shown by the people in the government’s measures so far is an encouraging sign and bodes well for the return of migrant labourers as the economy bounces back. This confidence shown by the people of India has been echoed on the world stage with other countries looking to India and learning lessons on how it has handled the pandemic. By showcasing calmness and inner strength the minister says that a “stronger, more confident and self-reliant” India will emerge which will definitely impact its “positioning on the world stage” post the pandemic. #India #Civilaviation #Evacuation

Nitin A. Gokhale

Author, thought leader and one of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Nitin A. Gokhale has forty years of rich and varied experience behind him as a conflict reporter, Editor, author and now a media entrepreneur who owns and curates two important digital platforms, and focusing on national security, strategic affairs and foreign policy matters. At the beginning of his long and distinguished career, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years, writing and analysing various insurgencies in the region, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 during the India-Pakistan war, and also brought live reports from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009. Author of over a dozen books on wars, insurgencies and conflicts, Gokhale relocated to Delhi in 2006, was Security and Strategic Affairs Editor at NDTV, a leading Indian broadcaster for nine years, before launching in 2015 his own digital properties. An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, South and South-East Asia to speak at various international seminars and conferences. Gokhale also teaches at India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the intelligence schools of both the R&AW and Intelligence Bureau. He tweets at @nitingokhale


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