Panel Session on India and the Policy Effect of Obama

The Bharat Chamber of Commerce organised a panel discussion on ‘India and the Policy Effect of Obama’, at the Park Hotel, Kolkata, on November 14, 2008. Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Pro Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU and Member Secretary, Global India Foundation, Kolkata was one of the chief speakers at the event.

The programme began with a welcome address by the President of Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Mr. P.R. Agarwala. He spoke at length about the unparalleled character of the 2008 US Presidential Election and about the impact of Mr. Obama’s election on both the US and global economy.

(A) (B) (C)

Pic A: Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Pro Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU and Member Secretary, Global India Foundation, with Mr. P.R. Agarwala, President, Bharat Chamber of Commerce, at the panel session.

Pic B: Prof. Mishra addressing the audience at the panel session

Pic C: Mr. P.R. Agarwala welcoming Prof. Mishra

Prof. Omprakash Mishra expounded in a lucid manner about the many important variables that have governed the election of Mr. Obama and its impact on India’s foreign policy. He stated that men and women do not sufficiently change the cardinal domestic politics of any country. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Obama may influence US domestic politics in a radical manner. Further, Prof. Mishra spoke on the importance of political decisions being governed by strategy. Economy being one of the foremost components of strategy, there is likely to be more continuities than discontinuities in American foreign policy. He also laid emphasis on the view that Indo-American relations have an autonomy of their own, and since India is now more of an emerging global player rather than an emerging global power, USA cannot afford to ignore the importance of India in its domestic policies as well as in the international arena.

Other speakers at the session who spoke on the economic impact of Mr. Obama’s election were Mr. Pradeep Gooptu, Resident Editor, Business Standard, and Dr. Saikat Sinha Roy, Reader, Department of Economics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.