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

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Nitin A. Gokhale

Left to himself, Nitin A. Gokhale would rather watch films and sports matches but his day job as a media entrepreneur, communications specialist, analyst and author, leaves him little time to indulge in his primary interests. Gokhale in fact started his career in journalism in 1983 as a sports reporter. Since then he has, in the past 41 years, traversed the entire spectrum across print, broadcast and digital space. One of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Gokhale has moved on from conventional media to become an independent media entrepreneur running three niche digital platforms—BharatShakti, StratNewsGlobal and Interstellar—besides undertaking consultancy and training workshops in communications for military institutions, corporates and individuals. Now better known for his conflict coverage and strategic analyses, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years between 1983 and 2006, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 and also brought us live coverage from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009.    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, Australia, South and South-East Asia to take part in various seminars and conferences. Gokhale is also a popular visiting faculty at India’s Defence Services Staff College, the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the IB’s intelligence school.