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: August 3, 2018

Recent projects

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3 August 2018 The Hindu

The big five at 10

BRICS has grown in influence in its first decade but is still far from achieving its initial goals

India-ASEAN Zee News Courtesy: Zee News
26 July 2018 Gateway House

Locating India-ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific

Indonesia and Malaysia appreciate India’s leadership role in the Indo-Pacific, but are also aware of all that keeps it from delivering on its commitments. A policy visit to the two countries enabled a closer look at some key issues, such as ASEAN’s centrality, the Quad and India’s stand on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
BRICS Courtesy: Kremlin website
19 July 2018 Gateway House

Restating the case for BRICS

The annual diplomatic exercise next week takes place amid a complex global political scenario. The western alliance is deeply divided, Brexit is near and equations among the great powers are in a constant state of flux. BRICS may now do well to focus more on internal cooperation than global change
39193431214_e3dd4eff86_o (1) Courtesy: MEA/ Flickr
28 June 2018 Gateway House

Indo-Pacific in flux

Change and uncertainty have marked geopolitical equations in the East Asian segment of the Indo-Pacific in the last six months. India-China relations changed visibly for the better while the U.S.-China trade war became more polarised. The Quad remained inert as did negotiations on the proposed Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. An analysis of some of the major trends

41728042254_a6935b2139_k Courtesy: MEA Flickr
7 June 2018 Gateway House

Modi acts East, pivots to Indonesia

Prime Minister Modi’s visits to South East Asia last week were major steps in furthering the goals of India’s Act East Policy even as major power rivalries unfolded in the region. Most significant was the visit to Indonesia, a low key Asian power but one that India can partner to enhance its regional stature.
mahathir Courtesy: Reuters
24 May 2018 Gateway House

Mahathir’s Malaysian manoeuvres

Malaysia is in the eye of a different power game today. Fifteen years ago when Mahathir’s last tenure as prime minister ended, the United States loomed over the Asia-Pacific and Malaysia. Today it is an unlikely leader and Mahathir inherits a China-dominated Indo-Pacific and vexed internal politics. What changes in foreign policy will this entail?