India and Singapore elevated their ever deepening relationship to a strategic partnership last year. The two countries laid out an ambitious roadmap for expansion and diversification of bilateral ties. What drives this multi-layered bilateral relationship?
Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is a Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme at Gateway House. He is a member of CII’s two bodies: International Trade Policy Council and Africa Committee. He served as Chair of FICCI’s Core Group of Experts on BIMSTEC and continues to head 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.
Indo-Pacific (including SEA), Africa, South Asia, Myanmar, Blue Economy, Regional Groupings, Indian Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
Last modified: December 1, 2017
Aung San Suu Kyi anchors new democratic government, but tough challenges remain
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House wrote an article on Myanmar's new democratic government for the Times of India.
India has hosted a plethora of India-Africa conferences, expressing commitment to deepen mutual cooperation. It is further expected that the president, vice president, and prime minister may visit Africa this year, to follow up actively. Indeed, a senior official predicts Africa will even become “the diplomatic flavour in 2016”. An analysis.
The power game in Myanmar has become clearer with the election of U Htin Kyaw as President. However unanswered questions remain as to the role of NLD leader, Aung Suu Kyi in this new government as well as how Myanmar will operate with two very different groups at the steering wheel.
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House delivered a lecture on India's Act East Policy at Jadavpur University, Kolkata on 10 March, 2016 as part of the Ministry of External Affairs' 'Distinguished Lecture Series.'
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia participated as a panelist at edition VIII of the Delhi Dialogue hosted by IDSA.
Vice President Ansari’s recent visits to Brunei and Thailand provided further clarity to the Act East Policy while advancing its implementation. He effectively showcased that the rationale for a strong India-ASEAN strategic partnership is sharper than before.
French President Hollande recently concluded his trip to India where he was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on 26 January 2016. India-France relations, post President Hollande’s visit, are promising, and will have a positive impact on Prime Minister Modi’s scheduled visit to Brussels later this year including India's trade with the EU. Informed citizenry should appreciate the huge stakes involved.
The elections are over and the transition towards a democratic government in Myanmar is currently underway. However, the sailing isn’t as smooth. The NLD and the military are in agreement but are cautious at the same time. Myanmar promises to be a car driven by two drivers.