Rajiv Bhatia

Rajiv Bhatia

Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme

Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Foreign 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 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. His third book, India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons (Routledge 2022) has also been receiving positive reviews.  
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 17, 2020

Recent projects

49668640836_0ba530513d_c Courtesy: MEA/Flickr
9 April 2020 The Hindu

A fair chance for SAARC 2.0?

The first-ever virtual summit of leaders from member-states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on March 15 was an innovative exercise in showing solidarity in containing a pandemic. Here is an assessment of its tangible outcomes – and longer-term ways to prepare for SAARC’s revival
G20 Courtesy: Ministry of External Affairs
2 April 2020 Gateway House

The action imperative for G20

COVID-19 unified G20 leaders at an extraordinary summit last week. An idea given a nudge by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, here was an opportunity for all participants to put together a plan and make a pledge for international cooperation, focusing on four main themes. Next, will they be able to turn words into action?
Rescue ops Courtesy: Twitter/MEA
26 March 2020 Gateway House

India aces rescue ops

The Indian government, has, under challenging circumstances, evacuated, all through March 2020, nearly 3,000 Indian citizens, stranded in the hotspots of the coronavirus epidemic. These rescue operations, which have been performed adeptly since 1990, are a mark of a developed-country mindset with confidence-inspiring governance structures
42555677410_4bbbd59769_c Courtesy: MEA/Flickr
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
49448317071_2e082bd5b5_c Courtesy: MEA/Flickr
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