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Talking Foreign Policy: How India Sees the World

Join us for a discussion with Shyam Saran, Former Ambassador and Foreign Secretary, often described as India’s most brilliant and prominent diplomat in the last four decades, as he talks to Madhav D. Nalapat, India's first Professor of Geopolitics and Vice Chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group about India’s foreign policy from Independence to now. Since 1947, India’s foreign policy has witnessed a judicious and progressive course from the Nehruvian period’s socialist agenda to economic liberalisation, and an increased interest in participating on the world stage as a significant political and economic power. This shift has been manifested in several significant foreign policy decisions in the last two decades, such as the move away from non-alignment to the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal and participation in the Copenhagen climate change negotiations. A handful of expert policymakers and advisors have been instrumental in driving these changes in foreign policy and diplomacy, with Saran as a key figure among them. In his new book, 'How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century’, using the prism of Kautilya’s Arthashastra and other ancient treatises on statecraft, Saran shows the historical sources of India’s worldview. He looks at India’s neighbourhood and the changing wider world through this lens and arrives at fascinating conclusions like the claims that the world is hurtling towards Chinese unipolarity are overblown; international borders are becoming irrelevant as climate change and cyber terror bypass them; and India shouldn’t hold its breath for a resolution to its border disputes with China and Pakistan in the foreseeable future.

Shyam Saran, Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research is a former Foreign Secretary and has served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change and Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board. He has also been India’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Indonesia, and Nepal and High Commissioner to Mauritius. He is currently chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (India), a member of the National Executive of FICCI, and a member of the Governing Board of the India Habitat Centre. He writes and speaks regularly on foreign policy, climate change, energy security, and national and international security related issues.

Madhav Das Nalapat is India's first Professor of Geopolitics, Vice Chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, and UNESCO Peace Chair at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University. He is currently Editorial Director of the Sunday Guardian and NewsX Channel and is former Coordinating Editor of the Times of India and Editor of the Mathrubhumi Daily. He writes extensively about security, policy and international affairs and has been featured on several Indian and international news channels.


Event Details

Thu 14 Sep 2017
6:00pm - 8:00pm

Hall of Harmony,
Nehru Centre,
Dr Annie Besant Road,
Mumbai 400018.

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