ISAS Panel Discussion: "India's Foreign Policy & 'The Modi Doctrine"
Thursday, 20 October 2016 from 15:00 to 16:30 (SGT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
3.00pm Welcome Remarks
Ambassador Gopinath Pillai
Chairman, ISAS; and Ambassador-at-Large, MFA
3.15pm Panel Discussion
Professor Subrata Mitra
Director, Institute of South Asian Studies
National University of Singapore
Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale
In-Charge, Foreign Affairs Department, BJP; and
Former Vice President, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, India
Professor C Raja Mohan
Director, Carnegie India
Mr James Crabtree
Visiting Senior Research Fellow; and
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS
India today is far more engaged in diplomacy than ever before. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country is actively building relations with other states to harness their mutual commercial and cultural strengths. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in a landslide victory in May 2014 under the leadership of Mr. Modi. Both Indian and foreign observers of Indian foreign policy had a limited understanding of Mr. Modi and the ‘BJP approach’ with regard to India’s external engagements in May 2014.
Prime Minister Modi’s outlook to global affairs continues the main thrust of India’s approach to the world, yet there is a nuanced approach in linking India’s foreign policy to domestic transformation under his leadership. While, his policies seek to attract foreign capital, technology and open foreign markets for Indian products, they are also geared towards a closer linkage of regional stability, peace and prosperity. Although, he comes under criticism from some quarters for his frequent foreign trips, most agree that Mr. Modi has pursued India’s foreign policy with an exceptional dynamism. However, while in the realm of foreign policy the goals of the government remain loosely defined, they fail to become coherent principle of state foreign policy. At times these doctrines reflect more continuity, while at other times policies demonstrate a marked change. This raises some general questions. Is there emergence of a ‘Modi Doctrine’ in India’s foreign policy? Is there an evolution of new paradigms in India’s external engagements?
Dr Vijay M Chauthaiwale
Dr Vijay is In-Charge, Department of Foreign Affairs, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), since November 2014. In this role, he is coordinating with Indian Diaspora worldwide through BJP’s global outreach platform, Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP). OFBJP has chapters in more than 40 countries and are comprised of well-wishers of BJP.
Interaction with Indian Diaspora has been an essential component of overseas visits of Prime Minister Modi. Vijay is actively involved in coordinating community receptions to PM Modi across the globe. Additionally, he interacts with foreign embassies, diplomats and delegates of various countries to put forward party perspective on issues of mutual interests.
Before joining active politics, he has worked in senior management role in pharmaceutical Research and Development for 18 years, his last role being Vice President (Discovery Research) in Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Ahmedabad, India. His main expertise is new drug discovery and R&D portfolio management.
Dr Vijay is Ph.D. (Microbiology) from University of Pune, India with 4 years’ experience as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at National Institutes of Health, USA. He has attended executive management program at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and leadership development program at London Business School.
Author of several peer reviewed scientific papers and inventor of several global patents, he has also served on the Board of Studies of Indian universities. He was also a member of selection committee for the appointment of Vice Chancellor, M. S. University of Baroda, India.
He served as a managing trustee and state secretary of non-profit NGO Bharatiya Vichar Manch, Gujarat (BVM) from 2000 to 2013 and was involved in organizing seminars, expert talks, publications, etc on contemporary topics of national and international importance.
Dr Vijay participated in 2014 Lok Sabha elections (February-June 2014) by taking sabbatical from his job. He was stationed in the the BJP Headquarters in New Delhi for campaign coordination. Dr Vijay’s wife, Dr Jyoti is Ph D (Biochemstry), is social activist. His daughter, Prerita, works in a social media initiative.
Professor C Raja Mohan
C. Raja Mohan is director of Carnegie India. A leading analyst of India’s foreign policy, Mohan is also an expert on South Asian security, great-power relations in Asia, and arms control. He is the foreign affairs columnist for the Indian Express, and a visiting research professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He was a member of India’s National Security Advisory Board.
From 2009 to 2010, Mohan was the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress. Previously, he was a professor of South Asian studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He also served as the diplomatic editor and Washington correspondent of the Hindu.
Mohan’s most recent books are Modi’s World: Expanding India's Sphere of Influence (Harper Collins India, 2015) and India’s Naval Strategy and Asian Security (Routledge, 2016) (co-edited with Anit Mukherjee). His other books include Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2012), Power Realignments in Asia: China, India and the United States (Sage, 2009) (co-edited with Alyssa Ayres), Impossible Allies: Nuclear India, United States and the Global Order (India Research Press, 2006), and Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India’s New Foreign Policy (Palgrave, 2004).
Mr James Crabtree
James Crabtree is a visiting fellow at the LKY School of Public Policy, on sabbatical from his previous position at the Financial Times, where he remains a contributing editor. Between 2011 and 2016, James led the FT’s coverage of Indian business as Mumbai bureau chief, having previously worked on the opinion page in London, as Comment Editor. James was previously the deputy editor of Prospect, Britain’s leading monthly magazine of politics and idea, and has written for a range of other global publications, including Economist, Wired, and Foreign Policy.
Before to journalism, James was a senior policy advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He also worked for various think tanks in London and Washington DC, and spent a number of years living in the United States, initially as a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is currently writing a book on India, forthcoming from Oneworld.
When & Where
Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore
The Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) is an autonomous research institute at National University of Singapore. The establishment of ISAS reflects the increasing economic and political importance of South Asia, and the strong historical links between South Asia and Southeast Asia. ISAS is dedicated to research on contemporary South Asia. The Institute seeks to promote understanding of the region, and to communicate the knowledge and insights about it to policymakers, the business community, academia and civil society, in Singapore and beyond.