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Vol 13, No. 1      Jan-Mar 2018


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"India-Canada Relations: Present Reality & Future Directions"


The Canada-India relationship has indeed taken a positive turn since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada in 2015. It was the first by an Indian Prime Minister in about four decades.


While India and Canada are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, robust democracies, multicultural societies and have had very close cooperative ties, a sort of bitterness had entered the relationship in the aftermath of India’s nuclear test in 1974. Canada played a prominent role in promoting nuclear export control rules against India. A Working relationship continued but the mistrust level was high - until recently. However, today the two countries have embarked upon a new path of bilateral cooperation in the civil nuclear sector.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada in April 2015, both sides agreed to elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. However, the strategic content remains wafer thin. The ties essentially rest on 3Es - economy, energy and education.

The just concluded visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India (18-24 February 2018) was expected to further boost bilateral relationship. The visit does not seem to have produced the desired results.


The two countries need to take a long-term view for safeguarding their mutual interests. What should each side do?



The Indian Foreign Affairs Journal had invited seven experts in the field to comment on the above, and offer their views. While the first five papers discuss the overall relationship - specially in the context of the just concluded visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the last two discuss two specific areas, viz; the Environment and Nuclear matters. Their views, as such, are published as the 'Debate' in this issue.


(The views expressed by the authors are their own, and do not reflect the views of the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, or that of the Association of Indian Diplomats)



PREM BUDHWAR: Ambassador Prem K. Budhwar, served as India’s High Commissioner to Canada for nearly five years from 1992 to 1997. He was commissioned by the Indian Council of World Affairs to do a special study on Canada, and his book Canada-India: Partners in Progress, was published in 2016.

India-Canada Relations: a Roller-Coaster Ride


RAJIV BHATIA: Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is a former Ambassador/High Commissioner to Kenya, Myanmar, Mexico and South Africa. He had earlier served as India's Consul General in Toronto (Canada). He is presently a Distinguished Fellow at Gateway House, Mumbai.

India-Canada Relations - Post-Trudeau Visit: the Road Ahead


VISHNU PRAKASH: Ambassador Vishnu Prakash, a former Ambassador of India to Republic of Korea, a former spokesperson, was till recently, India’s High Commissioner to Canada

Case for a Fresh Start with Canada


SHASHI U. TRIPATHI: Ambassador Shashi Uban Tripathi is a former High Commissioner of India to Canada and a former Secretary, Ministry of External affairs. She was earlier Indian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe and Consul General of India at New York.

Steadying India-Canada Relations: Through Trust and Confidence


ABDUL NAFEY and POOJA GOPAL: Professor Abdul Nafey is Professor, Centre for Canadian, US & Latin American Studies, School of International Studies, JNU; and Ms. Pooja Gopal is Research Scholar in the same Centre.

India-Canada Relations: Convergences Outweigh Mutual Differences


APARAJITA KASHYAP: Dr. Aprajita Kashyap is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

India-Canada Relations: Environment and Climate Change


SITAKANTA MISHRA: Dr Sitakanta Mishra is Assistant Professor, Faculty of International Relations at the School of Liberal Studies (SLS) of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

India-Canada Nuclear Relations: From a Troubled Past towards a Promising Future







PINAK R CHAKRAVARTY: A former secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, a former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and a former Ambassador to Thailand. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.

India's Changing Global Priorities and the Role Of  Act East Policy

There is no appetite for any large scale conflict in the current international order. There will be competition and cooperation. World leaders meet frequently in a variety of global fora and these frequent interactions help to defuse tensions. A China-centric international order cannot be stable.  China has no history of being a global hegemon. China’s "Middle Kingdom” mentality was regional, and limited to China’s periphery even in sub-regions which have been absorbed in Chinese territory. Moreover, China’s authoritarian state structure which precludes democratic decision making and transparency is ill suited for a global role. China has no history of creating and protecting an international order based on maintaining public goods.

Thus, the current phase in the international order will require India to navigate by hedging, band-wagoning, and forming coalitions with like-minded powers to ensure that the international order moves towards a multipolar configuration. One can call this approach “Flexible Multipolarity”. Avoidance of conflict will certainly be a main pillar of this policy for India. This will require building deterrence, both conventional and non-conventional; the judicious management of our periphery; going full speed ahead on domestic reforms, economic growth, job creation, spreading skills; as well as maintaining a stable social order. It is from domestic strength that we can build the sinews of our foreign policy options.


DEEPAK BHOJWANI: Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani is a former Ambassador of India to Colombia  and to Venezuela.  He is the author of Latin America, the Caribbean and India: Promise and Challenge, Pentagon Press 2015.

India and Latin America: The Way Forward

Indian diplomacy has been prominent this century, leveraging an economy that has shed inhibitions and grown impressively. Latin America however remains distant, geographically and conceptually. Political relations are cordial but seldom ascend to levels of strategic empathy. Both sides have deepened exchanges with almost all other regions and international partners in greater measure than with each other.

Still, trade has grown over thirty percent annually between 2000 and 2014. Latin American resources are an ideal fit for Indian technology, industrial capacity, and markets. The deceleration, since 2015, has as much to do with the global slowdown as with the lack of a strategy and measures to consolidate an evidently complementary relationship.


Relations have been predicated on bilateral priorities. Political diversity, varying economic endowments, lack of adequate human resources, and institutional underpinning, poor connectivity, and language issues present challenges for Indian stakeholders The Indian establishment needs to take a holistic view of its interests in, and exchanges with, Latin America. This includes collaboration in international forums, recognition of the importance of regional integration within Latin America, as well as the linkages being established by this region with other international players.

Latin American regimes have been focussed on commodity exports and investment incentives apart from stray investments in an India that offers promise for a region struggling to improve its international bargaining power. A re-prioritisation of the relationship is essential, and should be complemented by more discerning and energetic diplomacy.

This paper outlines issues, priorities, and impediments that define the relationship. It emphasises the need for both sides to develop a realistic model, based on factual realities, that enables India and its Latin American partners to forge a common strategy and assume their rightful place in the new global order.







BHASWATI MUKHERJEEAmbassador Bhaswati Mukherjee, is a former Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO, Paris and former Ambassador of India to the Netherlands.

Rajendra K Jain (Ed), India, Europe and Pakistan (New Delhi, 2017, K W Publishers), Pages: 318, Price: Rs. 1,280.00.


FAZZUR RAHMAN SIDDIQUI: Dr. Fazzur R. Siddiqui is a Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs,  New Delhi

P. R. Kumaraswamy, Squaring the Circle: Mahatma Gandhi and the Jewish National Home (New Delhi, Knowledge World, 2017), Pages: 234, Price: Rs. 920.00


RAJESH RAJAGOPALAN: Prof. Rajesh Rajagopalan is Professor in International Politics, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Gurmeet Kanwal, Sharpening the Arsenal: India's Evolving Nuclear Deterrence Policy, (Noida, India, Harper Collins), Pages: 272, Price: Rs.  599.00


GIRIJESH PANT: Prof. Girijesh Pant is a former Dean, School of International Studies. JNU; Former Vice Chancellor, Doon University & GGD University

Gulshan Dietl, India and the Global Game of Gas Pipeline, (New York and London, Routledge, 2017), Price: Rs 695.00, Pages: 213





Published in Volume 12, 2017




Vol 13, No. 2      Apr-Jun 2018


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"India in the Emerging Global Order:

The Next Decade"


India has always played a global role since its independence. Inadequate economic development, limited military capabilities, regional constraints posed by neighbouring aggressors, and enormous domestic difficulties have not prevented India from leading the Non-Aligned Movement, Group of 77, playing an active role in the United Nations, and making its voice heard on all critical issues, such as disarmament, North-South Dialogue, and various trade negotiations.


In other words, India acted as a global player against all odds and obstructions. In the changed circumstances of the post-Cold War era, the Non-Aligned Movement lost its lustre and vigour, the North-South Dialogue got diluted, the Group of 77 remained just on paper, and the United Nations could play only a small role in maintaining international security and peace in a unipolar world order.


As the unipolar world order is now under tremendous stress with the relative decline of US influence in world affairs, the considerable spread of Chinese influence around the globe, the near collapse of the European Union as a unitary actor in international politics, the rise and fall of ISIS in the Middle East, and the new uncertainties in the Indo-Pacific region marked by Chinese assertiveness and North Korean WMD proliferation, India has emerged as a significant role player. Indeed, it could be said that it is on the cusp of a major transition occurring in the global order.


Unlike in the recent past, India is economically more robust, technologically more advanced, and militarily more formidable. It has acquired recognition internationally as a new global power. China today has monetary power, but India’s soft power is unmatched. China shows no activism in containing terrorism, promoting non-proliferation, combating drugs trafficking, and playing a leading role to shape regional order anywhere in the world. At the same time, it appears to be determined to challenge the US position anywhere and everywhere in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. A sort of cold confrontation is on the rise in US-China relations. On the other hand, Russia has shown guts, and has acted fiercely to reassert its position as a global power. The rise of Russia as an important player in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East has irked the USA.

Under such circumstances, India needs to think hard about charting out its diplomatic and political course of action in order to play a constructive role on all major global issues that directly or indirectly impact its interests.


What should India’s role be in the coming decade? How should India balance its regional preoccupations with global issues? What should be the extent of India’s engagement in the other regions of the world? How should India manage its relations with the other global powers? How should India deal with the issues related to the global commons? How should India make itself more secure? How should India make its economy well protected at the time of rising economic nationalism? How should India handle the growing presence of external actors in its immediate neighbourhood? What can India do to become the dominant security provider in the Indian Ocean? What should be the limits of India’s involvement in areas and issues that do not affect its core interests?



The Indian Foreign Affairs Journal had invited six experts in the field to comment on the above, and offer their views. Their views, as such, are published as the 'Debate' in this issue.


(The views expressed by the authors are their own, and do not reflect the views of the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, or that of the Association of Indian Diplomats)



KANWAL SIBAL: Former Foreign Secretary of India, Former Ambassador to France and to Russia.

India Needs to Position Itself in the New Technological Revolution


CHINTAMANI MAHAPATRA: Rector, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Professor for American Studies, School for International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University,  New Delhi.

India: The New Power in the Emerging Global Order


SANJAY SINGH: former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, and, Former Ambassador of India to Iran.

Need to Show Wisdom and Dexterity to Traverse Turbulences


ARVIND GUPTA: Director, Vivekananda International Foundation, Former Deputy National Security Advisor, Former Director General, IDSA

India in Need of a Strategy to Position itself in the Emerging Global Order


B. S. PRAKASH: former Ambassador of India to Brazil and to Uganda and a former Consul General of India at San Francisco, USA.

India a “Great Power”: Assertion or Aspiration?


SACHIN CHATURVEDI: Director General at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a New Delhi

India’s Approach to Multilateralism and Evolving Global Order








M. MATHESWARAN: Air Marshall M. Matheshwaran (Retd) is a  Former Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff.

Nuclear Stability in Asia and South Asia: Dynamics of Fragile Stability

Nuclear weapons technology and development have moved at significant pace in Asia over the last year and a half. Missile and weapon tests over the last year have brought the non-proliferation lobby to actively raise the alarm on the spectre of a nuclear arms race unfolding in South Asia. The year of 2017 seems to have got the world's attention on the state of a fragile stability in South Asia in particular.


However, while the danger of a nuclear arms race in South Asia must not be ignored, it is important to remember that the South Asian nuclear scenario is far more complex. Very often the focus tends to be on India-Pakistan conflict/relations, which is deeply flawed. Nuclear deterrence stability in South Asia depends on the stability of complex triangular nuclear deterrence dynamics between India, China, and Pakistan. China has, until now, played a very successful strategic game of deception wherein it projects an image of a power that strongly articulates international non-proliferation norms while commenting on India's missile tests or on North Korea's missile and nuclear antics.


It is quite evident that China's extended deterrence for both Pakistan and North Korea is a critical component of its Asian nuclear strategy. Early in 2017, Pakistan tested its MIRV (multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles) on a new land-based missile. This was preceded by the first successful test of its 450 km range submarine launched cruise missile (SLCM). Both these capabilities provide significant second and third strike capability to Pakistan. But underlying these demonstrations is China's role in providing active technological support to Pakistan's nuclear capability.


Pakistan has unveiled its new strategy called "full spectrum deterrence", which accentuates its first use policy with the use of tactical nuclear weapons (TNW), backed by its second and third strike capability. India's development of BMD is cited as the trigger for Pakistan's focus on MIRV and SLCM. In reality, however, it is China's extended deterrence strategy that is in play, where it seeks keep India bottled up with Pakistan on nuclear parity.


A similar strategy is evident in its use of North Korea against Japan and the USA. 

India's recent Agni-V test may be the beginning of an overt India-China nuclear deterrent calculus.


OBJA BORAH HAZARIKA: Dr. Obja Borah Hazarika is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Dibrugarh University, Assam.

Strategic and Political Trends in India and the European Union: Confronting Common Challenges

India and the European Union have a considerable stake in the future security and the economic and diplomatic configuration of the international space. With rapid changes ensuing in the international level on multiple fronts, India and the European Union have an interest in directing the way in which emerging trends are shaped. They are both considered major players in global politics as they have significant clout in the diplomatic high-table of international decision-making and agenda setting. They continue to face daunting internal challenges which also impact their decisions at the international level. Migration, ISIS, and Brexit are some of the current challenges which the European Union grapples with, while India is faced with the Naxal movement and secessionist tendencies, among other regional and international issues. In the context of major structural level shifts occurring at the international level, regional level challenges and domestic upheavals, this essay attempts to explore the position of India and the European Union amidst these major strategic mega-trends emerging at the structural level, the major emerging political trends in both, and the common challenges they are facing.


YOGENDRA KUMAR: Ambassador Yogendra Kumar is a former Ambassador of India to the Philippines. He was, earlier on the Faculty of the National Defence College, New Delhi. 

MILAN 2018: Geo-Strategic and Geo-Political Context

... [I]ndian diplomacy, including its naval diplomacy, would need to be proactive to crystallise all elements of the SAGAR construct into an effective programme of action in bilateral and multilateral formats. It would also have to be nuanced enough not to convey, unwittingly, any impression that India might be fuelling a naval rivalry in the IOR and, even, beyond. This author has formed the impression that some countries in the littoral might be thinking that way even if their reasons might not, actually, be what they state them to be. A closer analysis of India’s actions would not bear that out, but a perception management task lies ahead for Indian diplomacy.


In sum, a greater balancing of India’s diplomacy in the current geostrategic and geo-political context remains its essential desideratum. The MILAN series, of which the latest edition was MILAN 2018, has great potential as an instrument of ‘soft power’ in the Indian efforts for norm setting for the Indian Ocean, which is becoming increasingly critical for our peace as well as economic and technological progress.







ERIC GONSALVES: Ambassador Eric Gonsalves is a Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and a Former Ambassador to Japan and to Belgium

Tansen Sen, India, China, and the World: A Connected History, (Maryland, United States, 2017,  Rowman & Littlefield), ), Pages: 560 (HC), Price: Rs. 2,985.00




Vol 13, No. 3      Jul-Sep 2018


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MONISH TOURANGBAM: Dr. Monish Tourangbam, is Assistant Professor (Senior Scale) at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) based in Karnataka, India.

India-Iran Relations amidst Strategic Constraints

The symbiotic relationship between India and Iran is quite apparent. Iran possesses some of the largest reserves of oil and natural gas in the world and India, as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, needs uninterrupted access to energy supplies to sustain its growth rate. Also, Iran occupies a significant geopolitical space in terms of India’s aspiration to reach out to its west beyond its immediate neighbourhood, into Central and West Asia. There are many suitors for Iran’s role as a major player in the West Asian region, including India’s primary competitor, China. Thus, in the interest of constraining China’s ability to extend its influence further into West Asia, it might be prudent for Washington to understand India’s rationale in building a stable relationship with Iran. Sanctions in US foreign policy have become a sort of a standard operating procedure that is slapped on any country that, in a standard fashion, does not toe America’s line of thinking and action. The India-Iran relationship is significant from a multi-faceted point of view. Despite strategic constraints, the most significant of which has been the ups and downs of US-Iran relations, India has maintained its pragmatic streak of foreign policy, with the aim of widening its foreign policy options and choices. It will be worthwhile to note that India has never had any fundamental conflict of interest with Iran and, for a number of reasons, beyond just access to oil and gas. Iran is likely to remain a priority in India’s strategic calculations. A sober assessment of this reality by the USA will well not only augur well for India-Iran relations and India-US relations but also has the potential to open communication channels between Washington and Tehran through New Delhi.


V. P. HARAN: Ambassador V. P. Haran is a former Ambassador of India to Syria and to Bhutan

Regional Cooperation in South Asia

Should India take the lead in these regional organisations? Beyond a point it would be counterproductive because there is so much lack of trust and suspicion among some members about India’s intentions. Some find India’s size intimidating. Trust needs to be built up patiently and, over a period of time. In the meantime, India should do whatever is possible from its side. This is not to suggest abandoning of our responsibility and leaving the pace of progress to be determined by Pakistan’s whims. Other available options should be explored.

We can strengthen cooperation through other regional organisations that have responsibilities in the same areas as SAARC. For example, the subject of trade is dealt with by 3 of the 4 sub-regional organisations ... .... The subjects of energy and connectivity, including transport and border infrastructure, are dealt with by all the 4 organisations. Wherever possible, we should move forward with our partners in these organisations, where the Pakistan factor is absent. SASEC has been doing commendable work. BBIN offers great potential in the energy and water sectors and can deliver concrete results in the medium term. BIMSTEC can be a useful forum for furthering connectivity, in collaboration with SASEC, and also focus on trade and investment. Progress in these areas would win the support of the people for regional cooperation, and perhaps act as a catalyst for progress in SAARC as well.


VIVEK MISHRA: Dr. Vivek Mishra is Assistant Professor in International Relations, Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata

India-Maldives Ties: Carving the Path to Normalcy

In the past few years, India-Maldives ties have, quintessentially, come to symbolize the dilemma that India faces in its maritime neighbourhood: the difficulty of balancing its intrusive-accommodative dilemmas vis-ŕ-vis its relationship with smaller regional powers. This dilemma has been further heightened with increasing Chinese presence in the IOR, and its motivated economic assistance to smaller countries of the region. The regional perception that India, as the biggest and most powerful regional country, has conducted itself in a top-down fashion for a long time has harmed its image. With resource mobilization in these smaller regional countries (primarily through Chinese assistance), their improving economy, a growing sense of the need to conduct an independent foreign policy, and respect for sovereignty among these countries, a turnaround in India’s foreign policy towards these countries seems to have begun. Maldives locates itself in this ongoing diplomatic transition where a regional heavyweight, India, is accommodating itself to the changing geopolitical circumstances around it, and is trying to help smaller neighbours resolve their problems as much as practicable. All aspiring great powers have factored accommodation in their relations with smaller nations. India-Maldives ties appear to be one such transitory phase in Indian diplomacy.

BHASWATI MUKHERJEE: Ambassador Bhaswati Mukherjee is a former Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Paris, and a former Ambassador of India to the Netherlands.

India's Foreign Policy: Lessons from Brexit and other Related Issues

India is now at the forefront of global political dialogue and discussions. Many of its new global priorities, including Security Council reform, climate change, and global warming as well as the International Solar Alliance (ISA), coincide with the priorities of other strategic partners like the EU. The Solar Alliance, now a group of over 120 nations, once in place, would contribute to India’s power projection in the 21st century.

What are India’s foreign policy options in such a challenging international scenario? Is there a way forward? Is the problem ideological? India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was of the view that India should stay away from ‘alliances’ and ‘arrangements’. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took this a step forward when he said: "India is too large a country to be boxed into any alliance or regional or sub regional arrangements, whether trade, economic or political.” While India may indeed continue to shy away from "alliances,” she has to acknowledge that India has become part of a rapidly increasing number of ‘arrangements’ of differing purpose, cohesiveness, and geographic extension. Each arrangement comes with obligations that impact India’s foreign policy options. India may need to rethink its position on alliances. In fact, it has already done so in its partnership with the USA.


India needs to effectively demonstrate its emerging great power status to its strategic partners who are now anxious to reach out and consolidate a potentially dynamic partnership. If successful, it could alter fundamentally the geopolitics of this millennium.


SHUBHRAJEET KONWER: Dr. Shubhrajeet Konwer, is an Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam

Hallmarks of Current Indian Foreign Policy

Identifying the factors that cause changes in the foreign policy of a country is rather contentious for they will invariably be linked with both systemic factors as well as international and domestic politics. The end of the Cold War meant that India needed to strengthen existing partnerships as well as look for new strategic partners; at the same time, it had to take measures to overcome its financial difficulties. The change of the political regime in India in 2014 has not drastically altered India’s position on various issues, but strategic commentators and analysts suggest that the commencement of the present regime in 2014 has led to a new found ‘robustness’ in Indian foreign policy wherein ‘pragmatism, not principle, and delivery, not doctrine’  are the hallmarks - both lacking in the last two decades. However, the bigger issue is  whether this is strong enough to overcome the challenges emanating from India’s neighbourhood, as well as withstand pressures from the ‘super’ as well as other global powers.


TITLI BASU: Dr. Titli Basu is Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

India-Japan Vision 2025: Deciphering the Indo-Pacific Strategy

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s strategic pursuit of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, anchored in his conceptualisation of the ‘Confluence of the Two Seas' and founded on the principles of universal values and norms, has created space for India in Japan’s grand strategy. India has been identified as a key variable in the geopolitical churning that is shaping the Indo-Pacific discourse, both in Japan and the USA. However, as policy positions are articulated by respective leaders, ambiguities around the Indo-Pacific puzzle demand more clarity. While President Trump and Prime Minister Abe are aligned in terms of pursuing the Indo-Pacific strategy - with the objective of managing the US-led strategic order amidst Chinese attempts in claiming equity in international affairs with alternative ideas, institutions, and infrastructure - Prime Minister Modi has articulated India’s Indo-Pacific vision as a free, open and ‘inclusive region, including all countries in the geography as also others beyond who have a stake in it’.  Although there are certain gaps in each country’s nuanced interpretation of the Indo-Pacific construct, a few common elements define the India-Japan ‘winning combination’ in the Indo-Pacific, such as upholding ASEAN centrality; the objective of securing strategic stability and economic prosperity based on the pillars of shared universal norms and values; facilitating infrastructure and connectivity between the sub-regions, including Bay of Bengal, the Mekong region, and the Indian Ocean for better economic integration and leveraging regional production networks and value chains; and securing maritime global commons by strengthening security cooperation with like-minded partners. 






B. S. PRAKASH: former Ambassador of India to Brazil and to Uganda and a former Consul General of India at San Francisco, USA.

Alyssa Ayres, Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World, (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2018), Pages: 360, Price: 695.00


GUNJAN SINGH: Gunjan Singh is a Research Associate at the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi.

Bertil Lintner, China’s India War: Collision Course on the Roof of the World, (New Delhi,  Oxford University Press, 2017), Pages: 348 (HC), Price: Rs. 675.00


SKAND RANJAN TAYAL: Former Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea; Former Consul General of India in Johannesburg and Houston

Zorawar Daulet Singh, Power & Diplomacy: India's Foreign Policies during the Cold War, (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2019), Pages: xv + 399, Price: Rs. 845.00




Vol 13, No. 4      Oct-Dec 2018


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"India - Bangladesh Relations"

In the Context of Recent Elections in Bangladesh



Welcoming the successful completion of the eleventh Parliamentary elections in Bangladesh in December 2018, India warmly congratulated the people of Bangladesh for "reaffirming their faith in democracy, development and the vision of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman." Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and "expressed confidence that the partnership between India and Bangladesh will continue to flourish under her far-sighted leadership". He also reiterated "the priority India attaches to Bangladesh as a neighbour, a close partner for regional development, security and cooperation, and a central pillar in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy". Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked Prime Minister Modi for being "the first leader to call her following her election victory. She thanked India’s cooperative role in the development pursuit of Bangladesh."


Parliamentary elections in Bangladesh took place in Bangladesh on December 30, 2018. Unlike the previous election in 2014, all major political parties participated. Some observers, specially the opposition parties, criticised the conduct of the elections, and described the results as 'tainted'. The elections resulted in a 'land slide' victory for the Awami League, the ruling party led by Sheikh Hasina.


Unlike in the previous elections, India was not a major factor. India itself maintained a non-partisan attitude throughout the election period. The rhetoric from the Bangladeshi opposition, which used to be clearly 'anti-India', remained subdued this time.


India-Bangladesh relations have reached new heights in the last ten years. There have been various new partnerships and developmental projects between the two countries. The continuation of the Hasina government bodes well for the future of these relations.


What does Hasina’s third term mean for India? How will the domestic political situation in Bangladesh evolve? And, what would be its likely fallout on its relations with India? How will Bangladesh's deft balancing of its relations with India as well as with other regional and international players likely to play out in the near future? There have been the usual implementation issues in various cooperative and developmental projects as well as legitimate concerns. How should India address these concerns?


The Indian Foreign Affairs Journal has invited seven experts in the field to comment on the above, and offer their views. Their views, as such, will be published as the 'Debate' in this issue.


(The views expressed by the authors are their own, and do not reflect the views of the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, or that of the Association of Indian Diplomats)



The Journal had earlier published three debates on India–Bangladesh Relations, in December 2011, December 2013 and September 2015, (Issue Numbers 6.4, 8.4 and 10.3 respectively) which are available at:




PINAK RANJAN CHAKRAVARTY: Ambassador Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty ia a former Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and a former High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, and Ambassador of India to Thailand. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

Bangladesh-India Ties Poised For a Strategic Upgrade


ASHISH SHUKLA: Dr. Ashish Shukla is a Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi.

Sheikh Hasina’s Fourth Term: Implications for Indo-Bangladesh Relations


ANAND KUMAR:  Dr. Anand Kumar is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, and is presently on deputation as Visiting Professor to ICCR chair of Indian Studies at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

The Opposition in Bangladesh: Would need to reinvent its Politics


SREERADHA DATTA: Dr. Sreeradha Dutta is a former Director, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, and presently a Senior Fellow at the Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi.

India-Bangladesh Relations: Engaging a Dynamic Neighbour


APARUPA BHATTACHERJEE: Ms. Aparupa Bhattacherjee is a Research Associate, School of Conflict and Security Studies, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

India-Bangladesh Relations: Past Cannot be Taken for Granted


JOYEETA BHATTACHARJEE: Dr. Joyeeta Bhattacharjee is a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

Indo-Bangladesh Relations to Deepen During Hasina’s Third Term


SMRUTI S PATTANAIK: Dr. Smruti S Pattanaik is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

Indo-Bangladesh Ties: Smooth Sailing on the Bilateral Front







SHREYA UPADHYAY: Dr. Shreya Upadhyay is a Bengaluru based independent consultant. A former Nehru-Fulbright pre-doctoral scholar with American University, Washington DC, she was also a researcher with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi.

India’s Response to Disasters and Humanitarian Assistance in South Asia


ASOKE KUMAR MUKERJI: Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji was, till recently Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations.

The Impact of Multilateralism on India






BHASWATI MUKHERJEE: Former Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO, Paris, and former Ambassador of India to the Netherlands.

Hardeep Singh Puri, Delusional Politics, (New Delhi, Penguin Viking, 2019), Pages: 304, Price: Rs. 360.00


ANKITA DUTTA: Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi.

Sumit Ganguly, Indian Foreign Policy (Oxford India Short Introductions Series) (New Delhi, Oxford India, 2019), Pages: 206, Price: Rs. 325.00


KANWAL SIBAL: Former Foreign Secretary of India, Former Ambassador to France and to Russia.  

Bhaswati Mukherjee, India and EU: An Insider's View, (New Delhi,  ICWA / VIJ Books (India), 2018), Pages: 358 pages, Price: Rs. 746.00



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