Rajiv Bhatia

Rajiv Bhatia

Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme

Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is a Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme at Gateway House. He is Chair of FICCI’s Core Group of Experts on BIMSTEC and its Task Force on the Blue Economy. He is a founding member of the Kalinga International Foundation.  As Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) from 2012-15, he played a key role in strengthening India's Track-II research and outreach activities. During a 37-year innings in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), he served as Ambassador to Myanmar and Mexico and as High Commissioner to Kenya and South Africa. He dealt with a part of South Asia, while posted as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. A prolific columnist, who has also written a critically acclaimed book, India-Myanmar Relations: Changing Contours (Routledge), he is a frequent speaker on foreign policy issues in India and abroad. He was Senior Visiting Research Fellow during 2011-13 at the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Allahabad University.
Expertise

Myanmar, South East Asia, Indo-Pacific, South Asia, Indian Ocean, Africa, Regional Groupings, Indian Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

Last modified: February 27, 2020

Recent projects

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27 February 2020 Gateway House

BIMSTEC or SAARC?

South Asia’s speedy economic development depends on the level of integration between countries in the region. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) have lost their momentum. But both platforms have their uses and can be revived creatively
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20 February 2020 Gateway House

Bolsonaro builds India-Brazil bilateral

President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to India in January helped correct the view that India-Brazil ties belong more in a multilateral forum. The accent this time was on the two countries’ congruence of interests amidst the current climate of geopolitical uncertainty and complex multipolarity and the scope for enhanced cooperation in four focus areas
Modidiplomacy cover Courtesy: Konark Publications
7 February 2020 The Hindu

Modiplomacy: Through a Shakespearean Prism

This is a generally positive analysis of the Prime Minister’s foreign policy in his first five-year term, but, like Shakespeare’s tragic heroes, he too has his flaws. This is not a research treatise, but more an overview of contemporary events that will interest students of international affairs

TH23-RAJIVBHATIA-XISMYANMARVISIT3 Courtesy: The Hindu/Handout
27 January 2020 The Hindu

Myanmar’s growing dependence on China

Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Myanmar on January 17 highlighted the economic aspect of the two countries’ bilateral relationship. China has been Myanmar’s top partner for years. But more than the 33 agreements signed, the visit threw light on the region’s changing geopolitics and Myanmar’s own compulsions in growing closer to China

shutterstock_1298932279 Courtesy: Shutterstock
24 January 2020 Gateway House

Mexico, the other North American partner

This year marks the completion of 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Mexico – but the full potential of this bilateral relationship has not been explored. Mexico exports oil to India, and hosts facilities of the Indian auto, IT and pharma sectors. There are three profitable reasons to intensify the bilateral, fulfilling both the diplomatic and business agenda
IMG-20200121-WA0004 Courtesy: FICCI
21 January 2020 Gateway House

Blue Economy’s global best practices

This is a transcript of a speech delivered by Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Chair, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Core Group of Experts and Taskforce, at the launch of a study on the Blue Economy
shutterstock_44385856 Courtesy: Shutterstock
2 January 2020 Gateway House

India’s diplomatic agenda in 2020

India will host four prestigious international conferences, such as the India-Africa Forum Summit and the subsidiary SCO Summit in the course of the next three years. These are historic opportunities for the country to show global leadership and fulfil a diplomatic agenda that involves handling strategic competition and advancing partnerships
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19 December 2019 Gateway House

Reset in India-Sri Lanka relations

Relations between India and Sri Lanka are set to change. The expeditious manner in which the Indian external affairs minister met the newly elected Sri Lankan president, who reciprocated by making India the first foreign country he visited, raises hopes. An analysis of the factors that impede and facilitate such a shift
kcmodi0312_0 Courtesy: Flickr/MEA
28 November 2019 Gateway House

Assessing the 35th ASEAN Summit

The 35th summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations, held in Bangkok early in November, showed that a shifting geostrategic landscape notwithstanding, “ASEAN centrality” in the region is a top priority with members. It also served as a backdrop for three summits that ASEAN held on November 4 with China, U.S. and India