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Vol 12, No. 1                Jan-Mar 2017




The Advent of the New Administration in the US: Global & Bilateral Ramifications

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The assumption of President Donald Trump as the 45th President of the USA has created a new phenomenon in American politics that has begun to affect domestic socio-political and economic processes as well as its engagement with the rest of the world.

The Trump Administration’s policies related to industry, immigration, financial deregulation, taxation, and education are domestic in content, but have international implications as well. That President Trump’s approach towards alliances, competitors, rivals, perceived security threats, proliferation, climate change, outer-space, etc. is  likely to be avant-garde has been signalled early in his comments (mostly through his 'tweets') as well as in his executive orders.

This approach will also undoubtedly have an indisputable influence over the future trajectory of US-India relations, particularly on the recently proposed “defence partnership” between the two countries.

Many observers note that President Trump’s soft line approach towards Russia and President Putin; his radical remarks on Chinese economic policies and foreign policy behaviour; his transactional attitude towards allies; his distrust of multilateral trade deals; his disdain of religious extremists; his inflexible stance on immigrants and foreign workforce; and his “America first” protectionist economic policy have the potential to alter the global economic, political, and strategic order. Indeed, the debate over the “Trump phenomenon” is intense and wide ranging in the capitals of all the major powers.

The questions that are being raised include the following

What will be the future of the time-tested Trans-Atlantic strategic bond? Will Europe seriously seek a new arrangement for continental security? Will there be credible US-Russia détente? Will the US-Russia détente enhance Russian influence in Eurasia?

Will US-China relations turn into a complex, cold confrontation in the midst of managed economic relations? Will China gain enormously from the demise of the TPP initiative? Will President Trump’s opposition to TPP and the transactional bargain with Japan and South Korea lead to the reduction of US commitment to Asia Pacific region?

What will be President Trump’s strategy to defeat ISIS? What will be the regional order in the critical West Asian region? Will the region return to the Cold War years when Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt were key American allies, and Iran and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq faced duel-containment? Will Iran walk away from the nuclear deal in the face of the hard-line approach of President Trump and go the North Korean way? Will Trump’s approach reduce or increase extremism and terrorism?

Whither US-Pakistan relations under the Trump Administration? Trump does not regard Pakistan as a “friendly” country; yet he had good conversations with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and assured him of help. The untrustworthiness of Pakistan is well established; yet many in Washington view Islamabad as a necessary evil. How would US-Pakistan ties play up during the Trump Administration?

It goes without saying that President Trump’s global, regional, and economic policies would also impact India to varying degrees.

What would be the shape of Indo-US economic ties under a protectionist US administration? How would India maintain its counterterrorism cooperation with the USA, despite the Pakistan factor? Will India’s deepening defence ties with the USA remain unaffected by the protectionist economic policy of the Trump Administration? Will the Trump Administration’s handling of the minority issue, its new regulations on labour issues and immigration policies adversely affect the Indian American Community? Will Trump’s China policy pose a challenge to the Indian approach towards China? Will Trump embrace the Indo-Pacific concept even while rejecting TPP? Above all, will India, get a high/er priority in Trump’s America?

The Indian Foreign Affairs Journal invited six experts in the field to comment on the above, and offer their views. Their views are published in the following pages.


 (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)



ARUN K. SINGH: Ambassador Arun K. Singh was, till recently, the Ambassador of India to the United States, and is a former Ambassador of India to France and to Israel.

Gazing at the Crystal Ball of the Trump Administration

No doubt there will be challenges to the relationship, and differences in assessments and strategies. India will seek to exercise strategic autonomy in its decision-making while deepening trade, investment, technology, counter-terrorism, and defence partnerships. However, we will also need to factor in the fact that the USA will take decisions in its own perceived interests and in keeping with US domestic and international political compulsions. Interests and policy choices will not always align.

Although President Trump has spoken positively about India, he has also talked about jobs being ‘shipped out’ to India and the alleged misuse of H-1B visas. India would like the easing of such visas for our technology companies as well as the lowering of fees.

A special effort will now be needed to look at the dimensions of the economic partnership. This has been an area of recurrent problems and disagreements. India being under the Special 301 Watch list as well as the problems related to H-1B visas are among the manifestations of these disagreements. No doubt it is in India’s interest to build our relations with all the major poles in the desired multi-polar international system, so as to maintain the autonomy of our decisions. However, the trade and investment dimension, nearly 3.5 million strong Indian Diaspora, and about 200,000 Indian students in US universities give a particular  dimension to this relationship. As we promote “Make in India”, including in defence sector, and as India seeks partnerships for Start-ups India in the US Silicon valley, an overall politico-economic narrative for the relationship will help soften the all too frequent bumps.


DHRUVA JAISHANKAR: Mr. Dhruva Jaishankar is a Fellow, Foreign Policy, at Brookings India, New Delhi.

Making Sense of Uncertain India-US Relations

What does the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States mean for India? The short answer is that no one knows, not even Trump himself.

India was fortunate not to feature prominently during the heated and divisive 2016 U.S. election season. Mixed statements and the belated appointment of senior officials to key U.S. government positions suggest that some of the bigger questions about U.S. engagement with the rest of the world remain unsettled. The logic of converging India-U.S. interests along every dimension – bilateral relations, the balance of power in Asia, counterterrorism, and multilateral affairs – remains strong, regardless of the change of administration in Washington. However, India can no longer take traditional U.S. positions for granted. It must double-down on its own unilateral efforts in accelerating its development, in Acting East to preserve a favourable balance of power in Asia, in coercing Pakistan and stabilizing Afghanistan, and in reforming the structure of global governance. It must also seek alternative partners, whenever possible.

At the same time, New Delhi will have to try to convince the Trump Administration of the central logic of its predecessors’ engagement with India: that a stronger, wealthier, and more dynamic India – even if it retains its independence and does not always act in accordance with the United States – advances American interests. This is always a hard sell, but it is particularly so in today’s political environment. It remains to be seen whether ‘America First’ can ever align with India as a ‘leading power.’


ANNPURNA NAUTIYAL: Professor Annpurna Nautiyal, is Professor of Political Science, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttarakhand


Trump’s Foreign Policy Uncertainties and Modi’s Developmental Agenda: A Way Forward

... [P]resident Trump’s policies are not yet clear, and many leaders have not met him. However, his meetings with Shinzō Abe, Netanyahu, and Xi Jinping have fared well. President Trump has reassured Japan about economic cooperation, friendship, and its commitment to Japan’s security. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the USA - despite the US missile attack on Syrian air base and continuing tensions between the USA and China related to North and South Koreas - has still prompted a high level dialogue and cooperation mechanism. However, the future of the relationship will also depend on President Trump’s stand on China. President Trump’s liking for strong leaders resonates with Prime Minister Modi’s image of a tough leader, and is likely to create a favourable atmosphere for Modi’s India. In view of President Trump’s transactional, bilateral, mercantilist and militarist approach toward trade, global affairs, and concerns for job loss for Americans, scholars envision emergence of good chemistry between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump. The latter’s restrictions on H-1B visas could disturb India’s equations with the USA. But, as the US scholar Walter Anderson has pointed out, a convergence of US policy of calculated altruism to build a strong India and Indian aspiration for a global role can fulfil USA’s larger strategic goal in Asia.


MONISH TOURANGBAM: Dr. Monish Tourangbam, is Assistant Professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University (Karnataka).


Forecasting India-US Relations in the Trump Era:

Mostly Sunny and Warm, No Major Disturbance in Sight

As the Trump Presidency became real last November, shockwaves in the USA and around the world were apparent. However, amidst the tell-tale signs of uncertainty that were going to define the coming of the Trump era, many commented that India-US relations would, in all likeliness, remain stable. During President Trump’s election campaign, India was hardly a matter of attention. Even as he made apparent his disdain for mainstream US foreign policy orientations, there seemed to be hardly any concern regarding the trajectory of India-US relations. The future of the India-US strategic partnership had been secured by the outgoing Obama Presidency, evident with his visit as the Chief Guest during India’s Republic Day celebrations, the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), and the promulgation of the Joint Strategic Vision of the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region. The prevalent view among strategic watchers in both India and the USA has been that the relationship has firm support across the major political parties in both the countries. Though the larger uncertainty surrounding the Trump Presidency seems to have brushed off on India as well, no drastic changes in Indo-US strategic convergence are being expected. India’s strategic embrace of the USA in the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region has become pronounced over the years, and it is expected that the strategic rationale inherent in the relationship will stay strong in the Trump administration.  


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


Trump’s Grand Strategy:

A New Doctrine and its Discrepancies

Economic protectionism by the US will also lead to consternation with countries like India. Although President Trump has commented that he is looking forward to working with Prime Minister Narendra Modi there exist several policies mulled by President Trump which may be pernicious for Indo-US relations. For instance, President Trump’s isolationist policy could raise concerns in India regarding the reliability of the US as a strategic  and economic partner. India’s interests will also be undermined if the US refuses to cooperate on tackling global warming given that President Trump has denied climate change on many occasions. Recently, the US administration undid most of former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which required states to decrease carbon emissions from power plants. President Trump’s decree also reversed a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands and it undid rules to curb carbon emissions as well as methane emissions. Such measures widen the difference in views on climate change held by India and the US. Although President Trump did not target India in the manner China, Japan and South Korea were blamed, for cheating the US through currency manipulation or bad trade practices, India will be adversely impacted as President Trump begins to implement protectionist policies including the reduction in granting of H1B visas which will impact India’s IT sector. Countries like India which embraced the liberal international order will also be impacted if the US retreats to an isolationist policy ceding ground to powers like China with whom India shares less complementary economic and political values compared to the US.


NETAJI ABHINANDAN: Dr. Netaji Abhinandan, is an Assistant Professor, Department of  Political Science, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack.


Trump’s Foreign Policy:

From Walking the Talk to Talking the Walk

... [I]t is highly unlikely that President Trump would abandon the path of intense engagement with India pursued by his predecessors, and toe a more aggressive line. Considering his intransigence towards China, which is viewed as a competitor, it is expected that he, just like President Obama, would rely upon democratic India to counter the growing economic and strategic influence of China in Asia. Also, in the wake of China’s growing assertions over the South China Sea and the emerging geo-political conflicts in South East Asia, America’s strategic interests would certainly be better served if it augments its strategic partnership with India.

In this context, the recent visits of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to the USA suggest that the politico-security relations between the two countries would rather continue with same intensity than run into troubled waters.  With regard to Indo-Pak relations, US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley’s offer of mediation notwithstanding, there is no reason to believe that the US would choose to meddle in the bilateral conflict between the two countries. In fact, following India’s strong objection to this proposal, the USA quickly reverted to its previous stance of non-interference, asking India and Pakistan to resolve all issues through ‘direct dialogue’. On the other hand, India can take solace from President Trump’s tough stand on terror as Pakistan would be under constant watch for its cross-border activities against India.

Thus, there might be some friction between New Delhi and Washington in the economic sphere unless differences are properly handled. However, in the politico-strategic realm, the relations are unlikely to encounter any serious blockade under the Trump Presidency.





M. GANAPATHI: Ambassador M. Ganapathi, is a former Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, former Ambassador to Kuwait, former High Commissioner to Mauritius and former Consul General in Sydney, Australia.

Contours of India’s Foreign Policy - An Overview

From the early days of recorded history, Indian thinkers have written about the significance and importance of foreign policy in governance. A codified approach towards political and diplomatic strategy finds reference in the Arthasastra of Kautilya or Chanakya – the first structured treatise on statecraft. Kautilya strongly believed that nations acted in their political, economic and military self-interest. In Kautilya’s view, expediency was to be the main consideration in foreign policy. Kautilya laid down measures to be adopted in carrying out an effective foreign policy. The contemporaneous Thirukkural has an entire chapter  outlining the essential attributes of an envoy in the conduct of foreign policy and diplomacy.

The foreign policy of any country cannot be divorced from its domestic politics and governance – the influence and outcome of each impact on the other. The Freedom Movement and the thoughts and ideas of its founding fathers heavily influenced independent India’s foreign policy. Shaped by the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi’s Ahimsa and Satyagraha as well as the reverberations of the struggle against colonialism, India saw its foreign policy anchored in the ideas of non-alignment as well as in supporting movements against colonialism, racism, and apartheid. India became a champion for non-discriminatory non-proliferation. It chose to chart an independent course, and positioned itself outside of any of the post-War alliances. Civilisational India could not have been expected to be a camp follower. There has been a cross-party national consensus on foreign policy, the thrust of its orientation remaining more or less the same– that is, firmly anchored in strategic autonomy.


VIVEK MISHRA: Dr. Vivek Mishra is an Assistant Professor, Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata and Visiting Faculty at Presidency University, Kolkata.

India-US Maritime Cooperation: The Next Decade

Today India conducts the largest number of military exercises with the USA than with any other country. A significant number of these take place in the maritime domain. Recently, maritime partnerships between India and the USA have ridden high on the back of multiple agreements in the areas of defence and security, particularly the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) and Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), besides some others that are in the pipeline like Communication and Information Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). However, two significant developments that could potentially change the course of the India-US maritime partnership in the next decade are the actions on the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean signed in 2015, and India’s elevation to a special status of ‘Major Defence Partner’ through a Congressional imprimatur in the USA. The paper seeks to explore the ramifications in the Asian maritime domain of an enhanced partnership between India and the USA, besides looking at the geopolitical fallouts of the Indo-US effort to link the security of the Asia-Pacific to the security architecture of the IOR as we go forward. It also looks at how the maritime and riparian ramifications of burgeoning Indo-US ties have altered the rhetoric of the balance of power associated with Asia, and its consequent fault lines.


G. PARTHASARATHY: Ambassador G. Parthasarathy, is a former Ambassador of India to Myanmar and former High Commissioner of India to Australia, to Pakistan and to Cyprus.

India’s Foreign Policy and Security Challenges: Past and Present

India is a country that cherishes and derives its strength from the principle of unity in diversity. Our attire, dance, and music symbolise this unique diversity, as do our cuisine and festivals. All major religions have blossomed in India. The Semitic beliefs of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been welcomed on our shores. At the same time, our own Indic religions rooted in our soil– Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism– have developed and grown in harmony. There have, however,  been challenges that we have faced - and continue to face - on our land boundaries and our maritime frontiers, across the Indian Ocean to our east and to our west.

India’s maritime history began in the 3rd millennium BCE, when the Indus Valley established maritime contacts with Mesopotamia. Following the Roman occupation of Egypt, trade flourished with the Roman Empire, not only on our west coast, but also with Tamil Pandyan Kings. The Chola Dynasty reached out beyond the shores of what is now Tamil Nadu, between the third and thirteenth Centuries. It extended its domains from Sri Lanka to Srivijaya (Indonesia), in Southeast Asia. Similar trade and maritime contacts flourished between the rulers of Kalinga (Orissa) and the kingdoms of South and Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.




Click Here for the Full Text of all Book Reviews

S. KALYANARAMAN  Dr. S. Kalyanaraman is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.

T. V. Paul (ed.), Accommodating Rising Powers: Past, Present, and Future, (New Delhi, Cambridge University Press, 2016), Pages: 336, Price: Rs. 595.00


AMBREEN AGHA: Dr. Ambreen Agha is a Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi

Tilak Devasher:  Pakistan: Courting The Abyss, (New Delhi, Harper Collins India, 2017), Price: Rs. 470.00, Pages: 472





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Published in Volume 11, 2016



Vol 12, No. 2                        Apr-Jun 2017




Developments in the Indo-Pacific Region

and Options for India

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A panel discussion on ‘Developments in the Indo-Pacific Region and Options for India’ was held during the regular meeting of the Association of Indian Diplomats on 2 May, 2017, with Ambassador Sanjay Singh, President of the A.I.D. in the chair.

This 'debate' section of the journal is based on general remarks on the subject from the chair, specific presentation from Ambassador Rajiv Kumar Bhatia, one of the panellists as well as a substantive intervention from one member, namely, Ambassador Yogendra Kumar, - all updated before going to press.

To enrich the 'Debate', an article titled "India and Shifting Power Equations in the Indo-Pacific" by Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra, Rector, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Professor for American Studies, School for International Studies  is also included.

(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) 



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

Developments in the 'Indo - Pacific' region : The Viewpoint from India

India today seeks cooperation with other likeminded countries in shaping such a regional architecture. While it itself believes in democracy and the rule of law, India does not seek to interfere in the internal affairs of other states. Sitting atop the Indian Ocean with a modernising navy, India provides security for important SLOCs crisscrossing the ocean as well as protection from piracy and other non-traditional threats. India—which has a strategic partnership with ASEAN—accepts the centrality of ASEAN and its structures and processes in the evolving economic and political architecture of the region. Today, through active participation in ASEAN led fora (EAS, ARF, ADMM++, etc.), and in organisations such as IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) and IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium), India is making its own contribution to dealing with contemporary challenges and promoting cooperation in the region. As the second most populous country in the world, with a rapidly growing economy being true to its own principles, India is a force for stability and growth. India has made special efforts to reach out to the countries with interests in the region through its “Act East” policy, especially the USA, Japan, Australia, and ASEAN countries towards realising this objective as also to safeguard its own strategic space.

India hopes that China, in realising its ‘dream’, will not pursue an aggressive policy in Asia to back its territorial claims and other interests but practice moderation and restraint and ensure that its rise is peaceful. India is working towards a concert of Asia with major powers as cooperative and not competitive players. In this objective, the USA, Japan, and other major Asian states will be key partners.



RAJIV BHATIA: Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is a former Ambassador of India to Myanmar and to Mexico, High Commissioner of India to South Africa and to Kenya.

East Asia: Changing Dynamics, Drivers and Options

The dispersion of power, marked by an asymmetrical multi-polarity, defines international relations today. It is moulded by a constantly changing interplay of factors pertaining to the domains of geopolitics and geo-economics. This explains why scholars and observers come up with divergent interpretations of what is happening in the global theatre, and why they are often constrained to revise or even change their evaluations and projections. This reading applies especially to the region of our focus, where perceptions prevalent in end-2016 need to be changed in mid-2017; and this could happen again after six months from now.

Thus, interpreting the meaning and implications of developments in the Indo-Pacific requires a combination of humility, tentativeness, and collective wisdom. A single expert, with a blindfold placed on his eyes, may be able to identify the tail or foot of the proverbial elephant, but not the entire elephant itself!



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.

Policy Uncertainty Unlikely to Abate

India needs to continue its policy of deeper engagement in the maritime sphere, given its largely benign image and the commitment, as expressed in Prime Minister Modi’s SAGAR speech, to regional economic integration. The government’s flagship SAGARMALA programme involving the construction of ports and SEZs around them needs to be integrated into the India’s policy for the wider Indian Ocean region. Thus, the Indian Ocean region presents an opportunity for shaping this maritime order into an open, inclusive, and equitable one. This would also facilitate the tapping of the full potential of India’s own ‘Blue Economy’. The fostering of an Indian Ocean maritime order, which Prime Minister has envisaged as giving everyone a stake, would require the commensurate and timely development of maritime capabilities (including the Navy and Coast Guard) as well as regional organisations such as IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) and IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium). As the foregoing paragraphs show, the window of opportunity may not be open indefinitely. At the same time, India’s desire to play an extended regional role is getting support from its traditional friends in the USA, Japan, and elsewhere.

India needs to continue its regional relationship-building for ‘balancing’ China. This  involves greater investment in ASEAN as well as in the other East Asian mechanisms; it also depends on pushing through regional connectivity projects which can be the key to impacting the strategic landscape favourably. The Modi-Trump Joint Statement (27 June 2017) describes the two countries as “responsible stewards in the Indo-Pacific region… A close partnership (of the two) is central to peace and stability in the region…” This ‘balancing’ would be contributed through close naval and coast guard partnerships with the South China Sea littorals, as well as with the USA, as they give the Indian Navy access to the Chinese mainland abutting this sea. The Chinese navy’s power projection capabilities are still limited in the Indian Ocean, with the prevailing maritime order not being favourable to it.



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

India and Shifting Power Equations in the Indo-Pacific

India is “Acting East” and India will be a key player in matters related to peace, security as well as development in the Indo-Pacific region. The changing balance of power in this region is reflected in dynamic interactions involving India, the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the ASEAN. No country clearly intends to contain China in the Cold War sense. Nevertheless, all countries have woken up to an emerging reality that shows that China’s “peaceful rise” is no longer peaceful. China has begun to throw its weight about in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, South Asia, and the Indian Ocean, and thus, not-so-quietly, new power configurations are emerging. The US is a relatively declining power. China is a fast rising Asian power.  Hence, new equations and deeper intra-regional cooperation are visible involving India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the ASEAN.







BHASWATI MUKHERJEE: Ambassador Bhaswati Mukherjee, is a former PermanentRepresentative to UNESCO, Paris; former Ambassador of India to the Netherlands

India and the UN: Reform and Role in a Globalised World

In its pursuit of international peace and security, India is fully aware that the strengthening of multilateralism through the United Nations represents the best hope in a troubled world, with new and emerging threats such as non state actors like the IS, and Islamic fundamentalism in general. These new threats must be combated multilaterally. The US has recently bombed IS hideouts in tunnels in Afghanistan. There is tension building up in North Korea which is making threats of a nuclear attack. In our immediate neighbourhood, tensions are growing with Pakistan which is threatening to execute an innocent Naval Officer, Kulbhushan Yadav, on charges of ‘spying’ in Baluchistan. The reality is that he was kidnapped in Iran by the ISI, and taken to Baluchistan. It is imperative that US President Trump understands the value of multilateralism pursued through the United Nations, and that the USA will continue to play an important role in strengthening international peace and security through the UN. His new Permanent Representative to the UN, Nick Hailey, who is of Indian origin, has recently made some positive comments in this context.

In a global context, foreign policy has come to be a mechanism by which a nation pursues its legitimate aspirations, based on its national security interests externally through bilateral and multilateral agendas. We live in challenging times where the World order is being re-shaped: on the one hand because of the decline of the West and the rise of emerging States, and on the other because of the threat posed by international terrorism and non-state actors and, more recently, the ISIS. This is compounded, in India’s case, by its hostile neighbourhood where, especially in the context of Pakistan, the issue has always been how to engage and how much space to engage. Should India continue to engage? The response is that it should engage to the extent possible, and should simultaneously continue to pursue our national interests multilaterally.

Much has been written about India’s abiding legacy to the UN. Swami Vivekananda had said: "India, for thousands of years, peacefully existed. Even earlier, when history had no records and tradition dares not peer into the gloom of that intense past, even from then until now, ideas after ideas have marched out from her, but every word has been spoken with a blessing behind it and peace before it. We, of all nations of the world, have never been a conquering race, and that blessing is on our head, and therefore we live".

This message from India is more relevant than ever before in our quest to strengthen international peace and security through the United Nations.



NIRMALA JOSHI: Prof. Nirmala Joshi is a former Professor, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) New Delhi.

India’s Engagement with the Central Asian Republics: An Appraisal

In India’s multifaceted engagement with the CARs, the bilateral context of each relationship are strong factors. As young democracies, one of the challenges faced by the CARs is the transnational challenges carried out by non-state actors. These challenges have a grave impact on their security and stability as nation states. The CARs are committed to building open, democratic, and secular societies, and each country is still in the transformational mode. This goal needs strengthening by providing them the requisite expertise and experience, if the CARs so wish. A sustained security dialogue will enable India to understand better, and possibly work out a common approach. Other areas of cooperation—such as economic, skills development, connectivity with Asian and African countries, and the diversification of their energy markets—are the key focus of CARs. In this endeavour, India could assist all the countries.

In view of the emerging complex geopolitics in this region there exists a wide area of shared perceptions on regional security and economic development. In order to be an effective actor on the Central Asian scene, it is crucial for India to connect with the region by surface transport. An opening in the southern direction to the Indian Ocean could be extremely beneficial for the CARs, and thereby provide them with a significant alternative to their landlocked status. In the long run, it could bring about a change in the geopolitics of the region, and widen the scope for peace and stability. At present, Iran is the best option for India to connect with the Central Asian region, and ties with it should be accorded the topmost priority. At the same time, ties with Russia will have to be nurtured. A vigorous policy on the part of India is the way forward to Central Asia.



NALIN SURIE: Ambassador Nalin Surie, is a former Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, a former Ambassador of India to China and to Poland and a former High Commissioner to the UK. He is presently the Director General of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi.

China and the State of India - China Relations

China is now the second largest economy in the world and perhaps already the largest trading nation in the world. It has in place an ambitious and extensive defence modernisation programme coupled with an economic and technological modernisation programme that is intended to transport it into becoming the world’s leading power. The problem is that while China’s growth and ambitions are known, the manner in which it intends to use its new power remains problematic.

China has so far, been a status-quo power. It was fortunate to have inherited a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and used the Cold War in a skilful manner to convert its obvious weaknesses into strengths. It has intelligently used the processes of international economic inter-independence to develop its economy and obtain access to high-end dual use technologies without restriction almost till recent years.

It is also a fact that despite being the world’s largest democracy, India was denied access to high level technologies in the guise of dual use technology restrictions since 1974. However, a Communist totalitarian regime did not face any such barrier. The double irony is that China has depended enormously for its development on external support especially from the west and Japan. Yet, today it is these very countries which see China as their biggest threat if not competitor on the international arena.







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DHRUV C. KATOCH: Major General Dhruv C Katoch is a former Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, (CLAWS) and is presently Director, India Foundation and Editor, SALUTE Magazine

Lt Gen PK Singh, Maj Gen BK Sharma, Dr Roshan Khanijo (eds.), Strategic Year Book 2017, New Delhi, Vij Books India, June 2017, Pages: 215, Price: Rs 1495.00 (HB), Rs.750 (EBook)


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

Yogendra Kumar (Ed.): Wither Indian Ocean Maritime Order?, (New Delhi, KW Publishers, 2017) Pages 292, Price: Rs. 880.00


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

Sten Rynning (Ed.), South Asia and the Great Powers: International Relations and Regional Security, (London, UK, I.B.Tauris Publishers, 2017) Pages: 320, Price: £59.00


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

Ajey Lele, Fifty Years of the Outer Space Treaty: Tracing the Journey (New Delhi, 2017, Pentagon Press), Pages: 232 Price: Rs. 995








Vol 12, No. 3    (Under Preparation)    Jul - Sep 2017





Situation in West Asia - Implications for India

(Tentative Working Title)






DILIP SINHA: Ambassador Dilip Sinha is a former Ambassador / Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador to Greece and a former Special Secretary for International Organisations in the Ministry of External Affairs.

International Dispute Settlement Mechanisms and India-Pakistan Disputes   (Tentative working Title)


RANJIT RAE: Ambassador Ranjit Rae, till recently Ambassador of India to Nepal, is a former Ambassador of India to Vietnam and to Hungary.

Situation in Nepal and its relations with India   (Tentative working Title)


V. S. SESHADRI: Till recently, Vice-Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, Ambassador V. S. Seshadri is a former Ambassador India to Myanmar and to Slovenia.

India and the International Trade: Some Perspectives   (Tentative working Title)


GULBIN SULTANA: Ms. Gulbin Sultana is a Researcher at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi

State of India - Sri Lanka Relations   (Tentative working Title)


NEHA SINHA: Ms. Neha Sinha is a Research Associate at the Vivekananda InstituteInstitute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi

India - Africa Relations and the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (Tentative working Title)






HARINDER SEKHON: Dr. Harinder Sekhon is a Senior Fellow at the Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi.

Aparna Pande, From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India's Foreign Policy (NOIDA, India, 2017, HarperCollins India), Pages: 224, Price: 599.00


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

Uday Mahurkar, Marching with a Billion: Analysing Narendra Modi's Govenment at Mid term (New Delhi, 2017, Penguin India),  Pages: 288, Price: 599.00


AMBREEN AGHA: Dr. Ambreen Agha is a Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi.

Rajiv Dogra, Durand’s Curse,  (New Delhi, 2017, Rupa Publications), Pages:   , Price: Rs.    ....



Vol 12, No. 4               Oct - Dec 2017






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