Rajiv Bhatia

Rajiv Bhatia

Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme

Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme at Gateway House. He is a member of CII’s International Advisory Council, Trade Policy Council and Africa Committee. He is the Chair of FICCI’s Task Force on Blue Economy, and served as Chair of Core Group of Experts on BIMSTEC. He is a founding member of the Kalinga International Foundation and a member of the governing council of Asian Confluence.  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, South Africa and Lesotho. He dealt with a part of South Asia, while posted as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. A prolific columnist, he is also a regular speaker on foreign policy and diplomacy 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. His first book India in Global Affairs: Perspectives from Sapru House (KW Publishers, 2015) presented a sober and insightful view of India’s contemporary foreign policy. His second book India-Myanmar Relations: Changing contours (Routledge, 2016) received critical acclaim. He is presently working on his third book which will deal with India-Africa relations.
Expertise

Indo-Pacific (including the Quad), Myanmar, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Blue Economy, Multilateral Groupings, Indian Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, including major power relations (U.S., China, EU, Russia and Japan).

Last modified: September 23, 2021

Recent projects

Quad amidst a geopolitical flux Courtesy: Twitter | @narendramodi
23 September 2021 The Indian Express

Quad amidst a geopolitical flux

On September 24, the Quad leaders will attend the first in-person summit of the grouping in Washington DC. There is much to discuss for the four leaders, given recent developments: the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) security partnership and the EU's new Indo-Pacific strategy. The Quad also needs to focus on long term goals like institutionalising itself and devising a strategy to counter the China challenge.
Measuring BRICS summit outcome Courtesy: Press Information Bureau, Government of India
14 September 2021 Hindustan Times

Measuring 15 years of BRICS

India hosted the 13th BRICS summit on September 9, celebrating 15 years of the multilateral. The leaders committed to fighting terrorism and reforming multilateral organisations, among other diverse aspects. However, the grouping clearly needs better implementation strategies if the agreements reached, are to be truly successful.
Courtesy: Ministry of External Affairs Courtesy: BRICS Forum - India 2021
2 September 2021 The Hindu

Is BRICS still relevant?

The 13th BRICS summit will be held virtually on 9 September 2021 and India is the host. The grouping has managed to hold its ground in an era of increasingly complex geopolitics. While immediate goals are important, in the longer term it must cooperate on counter terrorism, improve trade and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
jpg Courtesy: The Times of India
12 August 2021 The New Diplomatist

Deep dive: The Quad

In an interview with Garrison Moratto of The New Diplomatist, Amb. Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, counters China's claims that the Quad is an "Asian NATO." He highlights how the India-U.S.-Japan-Australia Quadrilateral initiative aims to increase cooperation in the Indo-Pacific on international law and security. This podcast delves into the history of the Quad's formation, current strategic characteristics, and future geopolitics, ahead of the fall in-person Leaders' Summit in the U.S.
2019-06-14T000000Z_1951021920_RC-2 Courtesy: SCO, Russia (2020)
22 July 2021 Hindustan Times

China’s quad?

A potential anti-Quad formation of China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan is in the making, and can pose risks to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. However, a close analysis of China's bilateral relationship with each country shows that this is a flawed grouping, formed on limited common interests and rivalries.
SAARC and BIMSTEC Courtesy: Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement
1 July 2021 Gateway House

Revitalizing SAARC and BIMSTEC

On 27 June 2021, Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House, chaired a session on Revitalizing SAARC and BIMSTEC. This was part of the Global Conclave 2021, hosted by the Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement (NIICE), Kathmandu. Bhatia spoke about the present state, past trajectory and future challenges and opportunities for regional and sub-regional cooperation through SAARC and BIMSTEC.
india-africa-forum-summit-2 Courtesy: www.mapsofindia.com
26 June 2021 The Hindu

Re-energizing India’s Africa policy

Africa is a foreign policy priority for India, but evidence shows a recent decline in bilateral trade and investment. There is already a "third scramble" for geopolitical influence in Africa. Now is the time for India to make new commitments in the continent: developing and deepening links in health, space and digital technologies.
ardern modi-3 Courtesy: PMO India
24 June 2021 Gateway House

Upping the India-New Zealand bilateral

On 23 June 2021, the India-New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) Summit for the year 2021 was held. Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, participated in the panel discussion and delivered his remarks on ‘Indo-Pacific Strategic Ties’. In his speech, he highlighted India and New Zealand’s voluntary subscription to champion the concept of free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific. He also suggested five policy measures to translate the shared perspective into practical plans and actions for the common good.
four dimensions of the quad Courtesy: Shutterstock
10 June 2021 Hindustan Times

Four dimensions of the Quad

The Quad countries are preparing for an autumn summit in Washington, which will provide an opportunity to discuss multilateral cooperation in various sectors. Four dimensions which merit closer attention and are crucial to the group's future are the Indo-Pacific strategies of European countries and the EU, partnerships with ASEAN and its members, closer India-U.S. ties and maritime security issues in the Pacific.