Rise of India: Strategies and Roles

ASIA FORUM with Professor P.V.Ra

Director, Centre for Indian Ocean Studies, Osmania University, India

Thursday, December 3, 2009, 10:00-11:30

Fall of the cold war system and its impact on Asia carried serious geo-political implications for India. India lost her close and dependable fried, the Soviet Union. India hence had thoroughly recast her foreign policy objectives and strategic framework. A ‘strategic partnership’ agreement was signed with the United States which led to build close bilateral military, economic, technological and energy relations between the two countries. Similarly India ‘Look East’ policy aimed at engaging closely with the Southeast and East Asian countries as these countries represented Asian dynamism.

India’s strategic aspiration is to emerge as an Asian power and play active role in the Asian power balance. A major objective of India’s Asian strategy is to counter the growing power and role of China in the Asian geopolitics. Since the United States too is worried about the rise of China as an Asian and global giant, a strategic partnership exists between New Delhi and Washington. To build her strategic power, India is upgrading and building her military capabilities, and projecting power in Asia. She is adopting a dual strategy which aims at bolstering the hard military power and promoting close political, economic, energy and cultural synergies with the Asian countries. A number of bilateral and multilateral agreements are signed with the Asian countries so much so today is hardly an Asian regional group in which India is not a member.

India’s geographical location at the centre of east-west highway across the Indian Ocean – linking Asia-Pacific with Europe – imposes greater security burdens on her. Large number of military, cargo and oil ships crisscross the sea lanes of Indian Ocean. Several regional and extra-regional powers who depend on the oil and resources of the Indian ocean region, have regular military presence in the ocean. India has reason to be  concerned with such military developments and regional conflicts like the Iraq and Afghan wars. India’s major worry is China’s increasing naval presence in the region, especially in India’s neighbourhood.

India’s defence preparedness is determined by the two-front threat to nation’s security from Pakistan and China. India’s growing economy requires regular and uninterrupted oil supplies. About 70% of energy requirements are imported from foreign countries, especially the gulf. Ensuring adequate supplies of oil should be the major goal of national security planning.

Prof. P. V. Rao is currently Professor of Political Science and Director, Centre for Indian Ocean Studies, Osmania University, south India. He obtained Master of Philosophy and Ph.D on “British Labour Party and European Unity,” from School of International Studies, Jwaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Prof. Rao was a British Council Scholar at London School of Economics; Fulbright Fellow, Johns Hopkins University and  Ford Foundation Scholar at Bandarnaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo.   Currently Prof. Rao is working on a major research project India’s naval diplomacy in Indian Ocean.

Prof. Rao’s major areas of academic interest are Indian Ocean and South Asia. He published six books and number of articles in leading journals. His books include:

  • Globalisation and the New Regionalism in Indian Ocean, BCIS, Colombo, 1997
  • Indian Ocean: An Annotated Bibliography, ed. Kalinga Publishers, 1998.
  • Regional Cooperation in Indian Ocean: Trends and Perspectives, ed. South Asia Publishers, 2001.
  • India and Indian Ocean: In the Twilight of the Millennium, ed. South Asia Publishers, New Delhi, 2002.
  • India and Australia: New Horizons, Mittal Publishers, New Delhi, 2003.
  • India and ASEAN: Partners at  Summit, Knowledge World, New Delhi, 2008

He is the founder editor of  INDIAN OCEAN SURVEY, a bi-annual journal to be published by Routledge from 2010.

Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Martina Klimesova at mklimesova@isdp.eu