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New Articles by Prof. Sumit Ganguly

Two articles by Sumit Ganguly, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Indiana University Bloomington and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow for 2018-2019 at the South Asia Institute, were published in current affairs magazines from India: The Diplomat and India Today.

1. (with Jayita Sarkar) 'India and the NPT After 50 Years: A look back at India’s decision to reject the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1968'. The article was published on June 22, 2018 in „The Diplomat“ and is available here.

2. 'A meeting of minds?'. The article was published on June 15, 2018 in „India Today“ and is available here.


Study on artificial glaciers by Marcus Nüsser et al. in Regional Environmental Change

The leading international journal Regional Environmental Change recently published the article „Socio-hydrology of „artificial glaciers“ in Ladakh, India: assessing adaptive strategies in a changing cryosphere“, which was jointly edited by Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser (Head of the Department of Geography, SAI), Dr. Juliane Dame (Heidelberg Center for the Environment, HCE), Benjamin Kraus, MA (HCE), Dr. Ravi Baghel and Dr. Susanne Schmidt. The article presents a long-term analysis to examine the efficiency of artificial glaciers and addresses the question of whether they can provide a climate change adaptation strategy. This paper features in the journal’s special issue “Impacts of climate change on the mountain cryosphere and associated response”, in time for a forthcoming special report of the IPCC. The full article is open access and available here.


The consequences of even small glacier decrease and changes of seasonal snow cover are critical for the functioning of meltwater-dependent mountain agriculture. In order to deal with recurrent water scarcity, different types of ice reservoirs, commonly called “artificial glaciers,” have been introduced in Ladakh and promoted as appropriate adaptive strategies to cope with changes in the cryosphere. The resulting seasonal ice reservoirs increase meltwater availability during the critical period of water scarcity in spring. We examine the efficacy of 14 ice reservoirs through a long-term analysis of their functioning within the environmental and socioeconomic context of Ladakh. Using multi-temporal satellite data (1969–2017), close range photogrammetry, and repeat field measurements (2014 and 2015), we provide an inventory and typology of these ice reservoirs and estimate storage volume of one selected structure, which ranges from 1010 to 3220 m3 of water. We extrapolate this volume to all ice reservoirs and estimate potential irrigation cycles of cropped areas, which vary between less than 0.1 in unfavorable cases and almost 3 in optimal cases and years. Based on interviews and field surveys (2007–2017), we discuss the benefits perceived by local smallholders, such as the reduction of seasonal water scarcity and resulting crop failure risks together with the possibility of growing cash crops. We argue that “artificial glaciers” are remarkably suited to the physical environment. However, their usefulness as a climate change adaptation strategy is questionable because climatic variability, natural hazards, and an incomplete integration into the local socioeconomic setting significantly reduce their efficacy.

Dr. Himanshu Jha: State Processes, Ideas, and Institutional Change

Dr. Himanshu Jha published an article entitled "State Processes, Ideas, and Institutional Change: The Case of the Right to Information Act in India" in the latest issue of the Pacific Affairs (Volume 91, No.2, June 2018). Using historical evidence, this article presents an alternative to the dominant narrative about the evolution of the Right to Information Act in India. Dr. Jha demonstrates that ideas on openness emerged as part of the opposition politics within the state after independence in 1947, gradually and incrementally became part of mainstream politics, and eventually led to the RTIA. The article can be accessed here


Prof. Subrata K. Mitra: Bhutan and Sino-Indian Rivalry: the Price of Proximity

Asian Survey recently published Prof. Subrata K. Mitra’s (former head of the department of Political Science, SAI)  co-authored with Srikanth Thaliyakkattil article on ‘Bhutan and Sino-Indian Rivalry: the Price of Proximity.’ Asian Survey 58(2): 240-260. The article points to how the military standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in the disputed territory of Doklam brought forward the foreign policy dilemmas of Bhutan and its search for an optimal strategy toward its two neighbouring big powers. This paper discusses Bhutan’s attempts to balance its overwhelming dependence on India with the necessity of normal diplomatic relations with China. The article is available:


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