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: October 17, 2019

Recent projects

48858480898_d65cd12503_c Courtesy: MEA/Flickr
17 October 2019 Gateway House

Bangladesh, India’s exemplary neighbour

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India earlier this month, resulting in seven new agreements, showed the strength of the mutual relationship. But both governments need to address some rankling issues: the sharing of the Teesta waters, the Rohingya problem and repatriation of the illegal people from Assam
shutterstock_1457421710 (1) Courtesy: Shutterstock
26 September 2019 Gateway House

Quad in the Indo-Pacific

The foreign ministers of the Quad countries meet for the first time in New York today even as the Indo-Pacific has turned into a keenly contested geopolitical arena. Some countries are offering to play a mediatory role while other triangular equations are also undergoing change. An analysis of some of the relationships at work here
shutterstock_1170580723 Courtesy: Shutterstock
22 August 2019 Gateway House

Japan in India’s North East

India and Japan have emerged close strategic partners, particularly in the current decade. They are cooperating for the economic development of India’s landlocked North East Region through connectivity building and infrastructure projects. The Modi government’s Act East policy has been a major impetus in the flow of Japanese assistance. Such cooperation also comes in direct response to China’s BRI
shutterstock_703229845 Courtesy: Shutterstock
8 August 2019 Gateway House

Africa’s ambitious path to trade growth

The African Continental Free Trade Area, launched in July, is a landmark achievement, aiming to eliminate tariffs on 90% of products covered by intra-Africa trade and thereby spur entrepreneurial initiative and job creation. It envisages many other gains as well, but the hurdles in their realisation cannot be wished away. An analysis
100614-global-uhuru-kenyatta-kenya Courtesy: Presidency, Kenya
27 June 2019 Gateway House

Kenyatta, Kenya’s ‘development president’

Kenya, the jewel of East Africa in many respects, has not made optimal progress due to a range of factors. But Uhuru Kenyatta, who is serving his second term as the country’s fourth president, has dedicated himself to a path of unity and more inclusive economic development. An analysis of Kenya’s ‘African destiny’
BN-WC464_BURMAP_GR_20171113114119 Courtesy: The Wall Street Journal
6 June 2019 Gateway House

Suu Kyi, more politician than icon

The Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy, which has been in power for three years, has shown a modest score card, winning more censure than praise. Suu Kyi’s civilian-military equation has been good, but not her reluctance on the Rohingya issue. What chances does her party have of winning in Myanmar’s elections in 2020?
merlin_155315436_159aa613-01d1-4b5e-8c01-f33ad69d0626-superJumbo Courtesy: NY Times
30 May 2019 Gateway House

Foreign policy continuum with the BJP

India’s foreign policy is increasingly blended in with its domestic agenda – and vice versa. Prime Minister Modi’s past proactive foreign policy has paid dividends in bringing global attention to India, a fact young voters have noticed and approved. In his second term, what will India’s foreign policy look like? A continuum of the past, but also new frameworks for the future
MANMOHAN-IBSASUMMIT Courtesy:
22 May 2019

The IBSA task list

Why this unique grouping of India, Brazil and South Africa must be revitalised