The OIA of NEHU has organized lecture series of the MEA on India’s Foreign Policy

Shillong, sept 22: The Office of International Affairs (OIA) of NEHU has organized distinguished lecture series of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on India’s Foreign Policy and its present challenges today on 22nd September.

The lecture was delivered by renowned ambassador and veteran foreign policy expert  Shri Skand Ranjan Tayal. Shri Tayal spoke on “India’s options in the changing dynamic of Act East policy” argued that India is able to expand its cooperative policy framework in the whole of South and south East Asia.

Explaining India’s cooperative paradigm of policy making that evolved after the cold war, Shri Tayal cited potential of India’s participation in ASEAN and BIMSTEC. While India is able to improve on volume of trade and isable to get the ASEAN nations contribute to Atmanirbhar Bharat, mutual cooperation is still to reach a dynamic stage.

He further spoke of the increasing size of ASEAN’s economy to the world GDP and BIMSTEC’s role in promoting technological and economic cooperation needs to be further augmented.

He surmised that in spite of India’s strong efforts at increasing volume of trade through lowering of tariff for imports, Free Trade Agreements with many countries within the formation, trade cannot achieve complex goals of regional security and stability.

Delivering the distinguished lecture, Ambassador Tayal called upon the academic fraternity to understand importance of geostrategic positioning of India that enables and secures India’s national interests.

This, he contended, is the pivot of decision making keeping in mind India’s security concerns with South Asian neighbours and then promoting mutual economic and technological interests.

India’s overall geopolitical positioning in many conflicts have been based on strategic ways of finding peace and the n promoting national interests through cooperation. He contended that India has to play a cautious mediating and neutralizing role in conflicts like Ukraine, or nearer home in not allowing a formation like Asia Pacific Economic Concern (APEC) to align with a China and Pakistan axis.

India’s role in Quad and ASEAN allow for not allowing India’s bête noire to occupy a more convenient position. India, therefore, is successful in turning bipolar into multipolar through its role in various formations like ASEAN and BIMSTEC. He cited India’s civilizational, spiritual and philosophical linkages with entire South Asia and Southeast Asia as the very basis of Act East policy.

The distinguished lecture was chaired by Vice-Chancellor Prof. P. S. Shukla, who in his remarks stated that NEHU can play a significant role in Act East Policy by bridging up demands for higher education and foreign policy concerns.

While NEHU can draw a fine balance between local and global in terms of implementation of UGC’s mandate on internationalization of higher education by seats on a supernumerary basis to foreign students, it can also promote diplomacy through higher education that can have direct bearing in multilateral cooperative frameworks.

He cited NEHU’s success story of Government of Thailand asking for cooperation from Thai Universities with NEHU in frontier areas of various science, engineering and social sciences disciplines.

That Act East policy can be best implemented by advancing the cause of research, teaching and joint collaborative ventures in solving important international issues and problems is spoken insightfully by Prof. Prabah Shanakr Shukla.

The lecture generated a lot of interesting debates and discuissions from the august audience. Leading the discussion, Prof. T.T. Haokip, who head the dept. of Political Sceince pointed out the China problem and how China attempts to scuttle India’s efforts at promoting Act East Policy.

Reacting to this observation, Ambassador Tayal explained how India is able to get best of the manufacturing giants in India and also India’s advantage in software and communications sector.

In his comments, Prof. K. Debbarma, the dean of School of Social Sciences advocated measures like students’ exchange, offer of medical and health facility, upholding of human rights and tackling of human trafficking as important steps to be adopted in the actual work of Act East Policy.

The lecture and the discussion evoked a huge interest as the Multi convention hall was filled with young bright students and researchers. Professor Prasenjit Biswas offered vote of thanks for a very successful to the entire academic fraternity of Shillong for making it a very successful event.





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