South Asia

Featured

Bordered by the Himalayas in the north and Afghanistan in the west, South Asia consists primarily of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. RAND research in the region is wide-ranging, focusing on security concerns and nuclear proliferation, economic development and labor market dynamics, child and family well-being, and health and education systems.

  • A cityscape of Shanghai

    Content

    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

    Mar 14, 2018

    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy improves policy by providing decisionmakers and the public with rigorous, objective, cutting-edge research on critical policy challenges facing Asia and U.S.-Asia relations.

  • A woman holding a baby looks out of a window from a shanty in Dharavi, Mumbai, India, October 15, 2009, photo by Arko Datta/Reuters

    Commentary

    Economic Development: A Recipe for Social Cohesion in India

    Mar 16, 2020

    Given the staggering economic challenges that need attention, how might India refocus its attention away from sectarian divides to economic development? While there is no easy answer, focusing on inclusive growth and development might offer one potential route.

Explore South Asia

  • Dissertation

    Essays on Family Welfare and Indian Development Policy

    Explores family welfare and economic development in India.

    Dec 16, 2014

  • Supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) party cheer their leader, Nawaz Sharif (not pictured), during a campaign rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 2013

    Report

    Drivers of Long-Term Insecurity and Instability in Pakistan

    Already one of the most urbanized nations in South Asia, Pakistan is projected to have a majority of its population living in cities within three decades. Researchers examine Pakistan's increasing urbanization as a potential driver of long-term insecurity and instability, with particular attention to the cities of Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta.

    Oct 30, 2014

  • A supporter of the 'Yes' campaign stands outside a polling station during the referendum on Scottish independence in Pitlochry, Scotland, September 18, 2014

    Commentary

    Will Scotland's Vote Spur Separatism in Asia?

    Scotland's vote could be a step toward disrupting the historical pattern of independence being won by force, not granted after a vote. This was the paradigm of the past, and it remains the paradigm of the present. But the vote in Scotland just might help set a new roadmap for the future.

    Sep 22, 2014

  • India's Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel march during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, January 4, 2013

    Commentary

    Let's Talk About Kashmir

    When U.S. combat troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan in December 2014, and training units follow two years later, the dynamics that once turned northern India's Kashmir into both a target and an incubator of global terrorism may return. This would threaten U.S. security, as well as that of the region.

    Sep 8, 2014

  • Youth leaders for the NGO Jatan Sansthan's youth program

    Commentary

    Women's Menstrual Hygiene in India: The Health and Environmental Implications

    According to India's 2011 census, 89 percent of the nation's rural population lives in households that lack toilets. This absence of proper sanitation presents public health challenges and affects Indian women disproportionately.

    Aug 22, 2014

  • Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands before the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai May 21, 2014

    Report

    China's Strategy Toward South and Central Asia

    China's response to the complex challenges on its western borders during the past two decades has been to adopt an "Empty Fortress" strategy, whereby China boldly projects an image of considerable strength in Central and South Asia to mask serious frailty. China is not a major threat to U.S. interests there and is unlikely to pose one in the near future.

    Aug 11, 2014

  • U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Powai in Mumbai

    Commentary

    Four Approaches to Improve Higher Education in India Through Policies

    In India, university enrolment has grown from 10 to 23 million from 2000 to 2013, and so has interest in improving access and quality. A review of research on higher-education policies on affirmative action, financial aid, private education, and vocational education identifies gaps in research on improving access and quality.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • The Dinesh Nagar housing complex on the outskirts of New Delhi

    Report

    The Effects of Moving to Permanent Dwellings on India's Working Poor

    In India, low-cost housing projects like the Ashray Affordable Housing Pilot may help the working poor and their families improve their living conditions, while still allowing developers to recover their costs.

    May 30, 2014

  • Narendra Modi waves during a youth event organized by India's Citizens for Accountable Governance.

    Commentary

    A Milder Modi?

    India has never had an election like this one—and its political landscape will likely never be the same again. Narendra Modi, India's most polarizing political figure in a generation, will become prime minister with a virtually unchecked mandate.

    May 19, 2014

  • Hindu saints stand in line to cast their votes at a polling station in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad April 30, 2014

    Commentary

    India Votes — and What It Might Mean for the United States

    If elected, Modi could turn out to be the politician that India's Congress accuses him of being, focusing on an internal agenda that discourages foreign engagement. The U.S. would no doubt prefer that he follow the economic course he charted in Gujarat.

    May 5, 2014

  • A suicide car bomb hit two diplomatic vehicles entering the Indian Embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008

    Commentary

    Book Review: A Reporter Analyzes the Driving Role of Pakistan in the Afghan War

    With its focus on Pakistan, Gall's “The Wrong Enemy” is a valuable contribution to a body of work on the American war in Afghanistan that has become stale and hackneyed. It provides a raw, unvarnished look at one of the darkest and least understood parts of the war.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • Indian students study inside the Delhi University campus in New Delhi September 20, 2013

    Commentary

    Four Issues That RUSA's Plans for Research Universities Ought To Address

    The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, or National Higher Education Mission, is the key implementing initiative of the Indian government's 12th Five Year Plan for higher education. It promotes three policy priorities in higher education — equity, expansion, and excellence.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • News Release

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Pakistani soldiers place barbwire to secure a street during a curfew in Rawalpindi

    Report

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 25, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Partner Capacity in Counterinsurgency Campaigns

    Success stories in small-footprint U.S. interventions have occurred in countries with inclusive politics and reasonable state capacity. Unfortunately, most insurgencies seek to overthrow regimes that are weak in inclusion and capacity.

    Feb 11, 2014

  • black man taking pill

    Project

    How Can Antiretroviral Therapy Prevent HIV/AIDS?

    Many complex issues surround the use of antiretroviral therapy as HIV prevention. RAND Europe is partnering with several organisations on Mapping Pathways, a project that is exploring potential treatment regimes and conduct research, community engagement, and policy work in the U.S., India, and South Africa.

    Feb 10, 2014

  • pie chart illustration over a world map

    Commentary

    Happy 80th Birthday, 'GDP' — Is It Not Time to Retire?

    While there are merits to using GDP, it is clear that it fails to measure several important potential externalities to economic growth, such as environmental damage, poor working conditions, or violations of privacy rights.

    Feb 6, 2014

  • Devyani Khobragade attends the India Studies Stony Brook University fundraiser event in Long Island, New York, December 8, 2013

    Commentary

    U.S.-India Dispute: A Diplomat and a Double-Standard Laid Bare

    From the perspective of India, not to mention Pakistan and many other nations, the United States expects privileges that it does not grant to others. If the U.S. subjects foreign visitors (particularly diplomats) to the strictest possible interpretation its own laws, it had better be prepared for other nations to do the same.

    Jan 9, 2014

  • College students attending a lecture in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi

    Commentary

    India Embraces MOOCs, but What if It Is a 'Lousy Product'?

    One hundred engineering colleges around India will rely heavily on virtual instruction under a new program. Given the amount India is investing, it is important to make the best possible use of the complex and evolving Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) model.

    Jan 8, 2014

  • woman filling drinking water, Rajasthan , India

    Dissertation

    Monopoly and Micro-Irrigation in Smallholder Water Markets

    Many rural agricultural areas around the world are facing severely depleted groundwater resources, which farmers rely on for irrigation. This dissertation explores the changes that would follow a move to formalize water markets and establish tradable water rights.

    Oct 30, 2013