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The successful launch of the South Asian Satellite from Sriharikota onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) on Friday not only reiterated the technological prowess of India’s space agency, but was also a landmark in science diplomacy in the region. This is the first time a communication satellite built and launched by India will be put to the common use of South Asian countries. 

What happens when strongmen meet? We know that the world is slowly filling up with populist nationalists, from Manila to Washington. Will they join forces against the sanctimonious, supra-national powers that dismay them all? Or will they compete, as erstwhile tough guys seem most comfortable doing? Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised if they find an entirely different way to frame their international engagement, one sure to puzzle, infuriate and sometimes amuse onlookers.

Indians' relations with Turks have deep roots in history, memory, culture, language and society. Their political relations can be traced back to different phases in past centuries [...] The Topkapı Museum has several items from the country, including a precious gift from a Hindu King in South India. Muslims in India along with the support and cooperation of the Hindus have a history of political and financial support extended to Turkey not less than five times during 1874-1920. 

“Triangular diplomacy”, a term coined by former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in reference to the confrontation and cooperation between the US, the Soviet Union and China during the cold war, seems to be back again, but in a new form and with new strategic significance. The strategy explained the informal alliance between Washington and Beijing; US president Richard Nixon and Kissinger managed, 45 years ago, to pit Beijing and Moscow against each other by forging a closer partnership with China

India embarks on space diplomacy like never before. For the first time, New Delhi is flexing its prowess of space technology by embarking on an unprecedented and un-chartered 'stratospheric diplomacy' through a special Rs 450 crore gift for South Asians. India is carving a very unique place in the universe, this week New Delhi will 'gift' a heavyweight bird in the sky to its neighbours through the 'South Asia Satellite'.

After claiming victory in the historic referendum, President Erdoğan visits India to further develop political relations and increase cooperation in trade ties and the fight against terror. During the visit, the issue of FETÖ will also be discussed, as Turkey will ask India to take steps against the terror group [...] During the bilateral meetings, the agenda is expected to focus on anti-terror efforts, political relations, bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Bollywood’s global popularity and the ‘Cool Japan’ initiative are highlighted in this week’s roundup. 

China has begun using the One-Belt-One-Road project, rechristened the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI), for expanding diplomatic engagement and securing strategic mileage. India might find itself strategically cramped as several countries from Asia and Europe get more committed to the Chinese connectivity plan, leaving India isolated. In a major public diplomacy exercise, China has announced scholarships for at least 3,000 students from countries and regions around BRI.

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