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    ​​South Asia Scan
    Launched in January 2019, South Asia Scan is an important addition to the bouquet of publications from ISAS. It is prompted by the need for a timely, substantive and accessible review of key social, political, economic and strategic changes in South Asia.​​​


    South Asia Scan: Afghanistan: Time For Peace?

    Rani D Mullen 24 April, 2019
    In 2019, Afghanistan appears at a political precipice, with the Taliban controlling more territory than at any time since 2001 and the United States (US) administration talking to the Taliban in order to withdraw their troops, if possible, before the US elections in 2020. After arguably four decades of war – a war which has killed more than 32,000 Afghan civilians in the past decade – war-weary Afghans want peace, as do their international supporters. Yet, in the changing political and security climate, many worry that the significant gains achieved over the past 18 years, ranging from women’s rights and a more than doubling of school enrolment rates to a 20-year increase in life expectancy, might be sacrificed in the rush to negotiate a fragile peace. This situation requires urgent efforts amongst Afghan and international policy makers, analysts and researchers to better understand, analyse and propose ways of ensuring successful peace talks and indeed prevent a return of a Taliban government, as well as longer-term stability in the region.

    South Asia Scan: Issue No. 1 : E-commerce in India: Opportunities and Challenges

    Dipinder S Randhawa 28 January, 2019
    At rates exceeding 40 per cent per annum, the e-commerce sector in India is among the fastest growing in the world. It has the potential of enabling India to leap-frog from millions of tiny neighbourhood stores to a nationally- and, potentially, globally-connected online market. More importantly, the benefits for consumers and producers could be transformational, bringing millions of tiny enterprises operating in isolated communities into modern connected market-places, offering unprecedented choices to consumer, helping to modernise India’s inefficient logistics sector and encouraging the development of efficient value chains. Nevertheless, the future is also fraught with risks and challenges, including the vulnerability of small manufacturers and retailers, and the prospects of a few major e-commerce companies dominating markets. This issue of Asia Scan inquires into the reasons for the extraordinary growth of e-commerce in India, the challenges and risks that lie ahead, and the role for policymakers and regulators in shaping an efficient, fair and stable transition to the digital marketplace of the future.