Research Areas

Our research areas, include:

   

International Diplomacy

 

International diplomacy is always changing territory.

The US invasion of Iraq has altogether changed the geopolitics of the Middle east and war looming on Iran is knocking another change. Other countries of the world have to change their diplomacy accordingly because of the painful fact that the US is the sole super-power.

Third world countries are living in constant fear. But what are the ground realities? What is happening in Iraq and how Iran is bracing itself to counter US onslaught?

So these two areas are our constant concern of research.

We also have separate departments of Southeast Asia, Africa and China studies.

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Indian Foreign Policy

 

Are we witnessing a tectonic change in India’s foreign policy? For decades, India, seen as a prominent spokesperson of the Third World and non-alignment, if not a camp follower of the Soviet Union, and the US, widely regarded as a leader of the capitalist world, were described as two ‘estranged democracies’. No longer does this seem to be the case. The recent agreements signed by President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, opening up among others the prospect of civilian nuclear cooperation A– a major irritant in their relationship– are seen by many as moving into a decisive new chapter.

There are other concerns. Are we over-reading the potential of nuclear power in meeting our growing energy demand, possibly sacrificing enhanced development of conventional sources– hydel and hydrocarbons? Will these agreements result in India further opening up its markets to US goods and corporations, dilute the negotiating position in the WTO and so on?

Will it change our relations with our neighbours, possibly jeopardize the fragile peace process with Pakistan, expectedly miffed at being treated differentially from India? Are we being drawn into a strategic containment policy vis-a -vis China? And what of our traditional allies, in particular Russia?

More troubling are the joint statements on spreading democracy and combating terrorism. Will India, for instance, be now expected to play a more pro-active role in the many conflicts that the US led fight against terrorism may give rise to? Worse, will we become a site, as indeed many US allies have, for escalated action by global terrorist networks. All this may be a high price for what we perceive to be substantive gains in the access to high end technologies, not just nuclear and military equipment, but in space, computers and agriculture.
We are constantly monitoring the developments in Indian foreign policy. This is our prime area of work.


We also publish a Monthly Newsletter:" Review of Indian foreign Policy"

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International Terrorism

 
We are studying terrorism from the third world angle. India has for long been a playground for terrorists but the world and particularly the USA didn’t pay any heed.

The scenario changed post 9/11 which proved the fears of India’s stand on global terrorism.

We have made a huge database of global terrorism from the third world perspective.


We also publish a Newsletter:" Terrorism Monitor"
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Emerging social , economic and political issues India and third world

We include a spectrum of work from an applied or theoretical perspective, employing statistical or analytical methods, and with an economic or political focus. We seek to understand how economic incentives shape political institutions and behavior, and to know how political forces influence economic choices. The increasingly complex political and economic conditions call for a more complete understanding of the interactions between decision-making in these two realms.

For decades, drug companies in India were said to thrive by copying medicines discovered in the West. They supplied a burgeoning home market and produced much-needed AIDS drugs for other impoverished countries. But labs in India and elsewhere in Asia may one day soon challenge Europe and the United States as the source of new medicines

The new patent laws in China and India have sparked talk of a reverse brain drain, with Indian and Chinese scientists who had come to the United States to make their reputations returning home. India had more intellectual-property protection; those Indian scientists might stay home. And the U.S. and European companies would have to restructure their strategies to counter the challenge of India. A few Indian drug companies are already making a mark on the international scene.

                                                                                                                           
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Africa unit

 

We have a separate unit for Africa where debt relief and labour related problems are threatening this continent which is facing the problems of infantile democracy.

India has announced 200 million dollars of Lines of Credit for NEPAD projects in Africa. It has commited 500 million dollars of Lines of Credit to eight West African Countries under Team-9 partnership. Indian companies are invited to explore project opportunities under this LOC. Physically, Africa forms the western fringe of the Indian Ocean, which had connected it to the subcontinent through maritime trade routes down the ages. But post-independent India slowly drifted towards viewing Africa through the lone prism of third world solidarity and non-alignment.

Africa was not seen as a neighbor but as a rhetorical item on India’s exalted global agenda. And Africans became fellow travelers in the struggle against imperialism, neo-colonialism and racial discrimination.

India launched an integrated programme “Focus Africa” from the year 2002-03. The main objective of the programme is to increase interactions between the two regions by identifying the areas of bilateral trade and investment. The “Focus Africa” programme emphasized on seven major trading partners of the region, namely Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana, which together account for around 69% of India’s total bilateral trade with the sub-Saharan Africa region.

Africa as a whole, for Indian business, is still a largely uncharted territory. The existing level of business ties between India and Africa does not reflect the full potential. The consolidation of Indo-Africa economic co-operation, bilateral or multilateral, can usher in a new era of South-south co-operation. India has also begun to recognize its responsibility to contribute to African security not just through the United Nations peacekeeping operations, but in joining the international efforts to end the many civil wars that have wreaked havoc in the continent.

Until recently, fighting the West was the central theme of India’s Africa policy. Now, in the transformed regional and international context, New Delhi has to work with the West in bringing peace and prosperity to Africa.
During the last decade, India tried to reach out to many of its neighboring regions that had become politically distant during the Cold War. India’s insular economic policies too helped snap historic trade relations with many of its neighbors.

India’s rediscovery of its neighborhood included South East Asia and the Persian Gulf. The former was the object of the much analysed “look east’’ policy and the Gulf became central to India’s energy diplomacy.
India’s share of total exports to the East African region has not been impressive, considering the market potential. The two principal reasons behind this are the huge information gap between India and these countries, and the lack of will on the part of the Indian trading community to be present physically in those markets to gauge the changes first hand.

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