International Conference on “India and her Neighbourhoods”

organised by

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), Kolkata

A three day International Conference was organised and hosted by the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), Kolkata, on “India and her Neighbourhoods,” from March 27 to March 29, 2010 at Hotel Golden Park, Kolkata.

The inaugural session began with a welcome address by Prof. J.K. Ray, Chairman, MAKAIAS, followed by an inaugural address by Shri Krishnan Srinivasan, Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India. There was also a special address by Ambassador Pramathesh Rath, and the keynote address was delivered by Prof. Pushpesh Pant, Former Dean, SIS, JNU, New Delhi.

The conference focussed on such diverse and thought provoking issues such as India in the 21st Century, Interrogating Political Instability in South Asia, Non-State Actors and Terrorism in South Asia, Traditional and Non-Traditional Security in South Asia, Inter-State Relations in South Asia, Extra-Regional Actors in South Asia, India-ASEAN: Emerging Economic, Political and Strategic Engagements, India and China in Asia-Pacific: Engagement or Containment, India and Southeast Asia: Maritime Security Issues, India and Southeast Asia: Convergence of Interest and Emerging Alliances in the Asia – Pacific.

Global India Foundation was represented at the conference by Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Pro-Vice Chancellor, IGNOU and Member Secretary, Global India Foundation, Dr. Prabhas Sinha, Director (Projects), Global India Foundation, and the Fellows of the Foundation. Prof. Mishra chaired a session on Traditional and Non-Traditional Security in South Asia, and highlighted several important issues both for the speakers as well as for the benefit of the audience, while Dr. Sinha presented a paper on “Maritime Boundaries in South Asian Seas: Towards Addressing the Modern Political, Legal and Security Concerns” concentrating on the subject of maritime boundary delimitation in South Asia as well as other related factors. There were four papers presented by the Fellows of the Foundation on both South Asian as well as South East Asian issues.

Dr. Lopamudra Bandyopadhyay presented a paper on “The Emergence of the Neo-Taliban in Afghanistan: Causes and Consequences,” in the process delving deep into the genesis of the new threat of the Neo-Taliban and its effect on the whole of South Asia. Ms. Cauvery Ganapathy delivered a lecture based on her paper “Dynamics of South Asian Energy Security: Uneasy Congruence” in which she encompassed a study of the status of cooperation on energy security in the South Asian region and the possibility of looking beyond the region. Ms. Sayantani Sen presented a paper entitled “Business Cycles…Financial Contagion…Asian Economies,” in which she analysed the contemporary financial history and the impact of the present financial contagion on Asian economies. Ms. Sayantani Sen Mazumdar’s paper was on “Development of the North-East Region through the Prism of India-ASEAN Economic Integration,” in which she focussed on the importance of the development of the North East of India as a stepping stone towards the realisation of India’s Look-East Policy.