India Foundation & Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, University of Calcutta
Global India Foundation organized in collaboration with the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies (IFPS), University of Calcutta, a panel discussion on Foreign Policy Challenges in India’s Near East on 9th October 2012, at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities Auditorium, (10th Floor), Alipore Campus, University of Calcutta. In the light of recent developments in the region conventionally known as Southeast Asia, the discussion sought to critically highlight the major components of and challenges to India’s foreign policy towards her eastern neighbours which continue to be crucial to her national interest. The panel included Vice Admiral P.J Jacob, Chairman, Global India Foundation, Amb. Salman Haidar, Former Foreign Secretary, Government of India and Vice-Chairman, Global India Foundation, Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Professor, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University and Member Secretary, Global India Foundation, Prof. Hari Vasudevan, Department of History, University of Calcutta and Mr. Sanjay Pulipaka, Fellow, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata.
A) The Panel, (B) Interactions with the audience
The discussion outlined the historical, ethnographic links with the countries forming India’s near east and emphasized the new age focus on economic and security ties through engagement of multilateral organizations like ASEAN and the initiation and implementation of the Look East policy (Phases 1 and 2). The issues of bilateral and multilateral trade, connectivity, defence cooperation and people to people contact were carefully outlined and problematized, and possible mechanisms for effective resolution were highlighted. The discussion also witnessed enthusiastic participation by scholars and students from leading Universities and centres of learning who raised pertinent, probing questions on related issues which impinge crucially on the prospect of relations between India and her eastern neighbours.