Category Archives: Outreach Talks

India-Sri Lanka Relations: Divergences and Convergences

Dr. M. Mayilvaganan, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the International Strategic and Security Studies in National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) will be delivering the Sri Pendakur Virupanna Memorial Endowment Lecture on the topic “India-Sri Lanka Relations: Divergences and Convergence.” The lecture is organised by the Indian Institute of World Culture (IIWC), Bengaluru at the Wadia Hall, IIWC, Basavanagudi, on Sunday, March 11, 2017 at 6.00 PM. The invitation of the lecture is appended below.


Maritime Infrastructure Development and Land-Sea Connectivity: Imperatives for Hinterland Connectivity and India’s Act East Policy

National Maritime Seminar on India’s Maritime Infrastructure: Challenges and Prospects at Pondicherry University, on 23-24 February 2017

M. Mayilvaganan, Associate Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Abstract of Lecture/Presentation: Northeast India serves as the bridge between India and South East Asian nations, but currently one of the most backward regions of the country. Growth of trade, business and industry in the region is retarded by its location, ethnic unrest and poor connectivity. Mainland India’s connectivity to the region is limited and the Government of India has taken a policy priority to link it through maritime. New Delhi’s strategy is to develop alternative multimodal transportation from its East Coast ports to Northeast India through Myanmar by using the latter’s inland waterway and road, to reduce its dependency on the usage of roads via Siliguri Corridor, or Chicken’s Neck. In particular, the maritime connectivity between Kolkata and Sittwe ports in India and Myanmar, respectively, and road-inland waterway connectivity—Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transportation—at western Myanmar and NE India is envisaged. Although alternative modes are a welcome move, the poor land-sea connectivity and underdeveloped maritime infrastructure along East Coast of India is hindrance to India’s long-term strategy of enhancing physical connectivity to hinterland region and ASEAN to an extent. Apparently, the structural gap in terms of maritime and shipping infrastructure is quite visible.

With the SAGARMALA and maritime initiatives, the Government of India should act without delay to develop logistics at the ports, connectivity to the ports and industrialised cities and optimize the all-round maritime links with the eastern neighbours. The regular, efficient and affordable shipping between India and Myanmar is of critical importance. Well connected ports along with the efficiency of shipping services would be the major catalysts to for deeper engagement with the rest of the world. Also, it is important to point out that the Act East Policy would not be complete without physical connectivity to the North Eastern region of India and Myanmar. Against this background, the presentation/paper seeks to analyze some of the more important segments of the maritime infrastructure development and land-sea connectivity in India and to bring out its relationship with Act East Policy and national security.


South China Sea Dispute – Response of ASEAN

International Conference on Changing Security Dynamic in the Indo-Pacific, organised by ICRIER at Hyderabad, on February 15-16, 2017

M. Mayilvaganan, Associate Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Abstract of Lecture/Presentation: The events following the recent verdict of the permanent court of arbitration on claims of the Philippines in the South China Sea (SCS) has not only demonstrated Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) dilemma but also reflected the lack of unanimity among its member countries. ASEAN’s inability to respond to the territorial disputes in the SCS in an affirmative manner and particularly, its watered-down joint statement at the end of its 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Laos preferring to avoid reference to the court ruling against China are a case in point. Interestingly, the ASEAN coexisted traditionally with the US approach as many within it considered the latter as a stabilizing force.

However, with the newly elected US president Donald Trump’s censure on its allies’ failure to pay enough for US protection and his inward looking policy have raised concern among many littoral states. Similarly, Beijing upping the ante in SCS part of its larger game plan—including ignoring the court’s decree—and its growing clout over the region has put ASEAN to the test. Should China’s military buildup and its attempts to rewrite the rule book including its yearning to have power over the sea lines of communication—through which about $5 trillion trade passes annually—increase, undoubtedly it will heightened far reaching implications for the region and worldwide. In this context, the big question is that how does the 10 member bloc going to balance their own strategic interests as well as the unity of the bloc when the SCS emerging as a potential flashpoint. Particularly, it is imperative to examine how ASEAN is going to behave and will it be able to defend its centrality and credibility. Unless ASEAN manages to finalize a fair code of conduct in the SCS with China, its continuity and legacy would be in the challenge even may risk losing its very raison d’etre.

Summit of Heads of India-Russia Think-Tanks

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), September 22-23, 2016

Professor Baldev Raj and Dr. M. Mayilvaganan

Professor Baldev Raj, Director, NIAS and Dr. M. Mayilvaganan Assistant Professor, NIAS attended first ever Heads of India-Russia Think-Tanks’ summit hosted by Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in association with Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India on September 22-23, 2016 in Moscow. The summit provided an opportunity in the dialogue between Indian and Russian strategic and policy making circles so as to further enhance India-Russia friendship and improve mutual understanding.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Illegal Migration as a Security Threat: Emerging Trends and Responses

Conference on Emerging Trends in Non-Traditional Security: Threats and Responses, Christ University, Bengaluru, September 2-3, 2016

M. Mayilvaganan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Christ Univ LogoAbstract of Lecture/Presentation: Illegal migration is a global phenomenon. Socio-economic and environmental problems plays an important part in the movement of people globally by unlawful means. This phenomenon pose serious challenges to the survival and well being of the people and State as it does not recognize borders. It has been estimated that at the end of the 20th century some 150 million people were living outside the country of their birth. Notably, as per Census 2001 the data on migration in India shows that the total number of migrants has been 314 million. Out of these, Bangladeshi migrants who form around 5-20 million are considered to be the largest one from outside country category.

Massive illegal migration from neighbourhood has not only posed a grave danger to national security, but also to social harmony and economic well being. The political and communal tensions in North East India and skirmish in the Indo-Bangladesh border are few cases in point. It is therefore necessitates rethinking on security agendas, finding new and innovative ways to address the emerging security challenges. Especially, given that due to sea-level rise, millions of people from Bangladesh, Maldives and other countries are expected to flee to India in the future. More importantly, it is essential to examine how this phenomenon—illegal migration—(re)shaping the institutional architecture in the region. The talk focus on the emerging trends and their impact on various issues such as economic, demographic and security including border management; response of government and some possible intervention to address the issue. 

National Security Reform

National Police Academy, Hyderabad, September 2, 2016

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Dr. Arun Vishwanathan spoke to senior civil and police officers at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad on the issue of National Security Reform. The lecture was part of the Senior Officers Course on “National Security” which was held between August 29-September 2, 2016. The Lecture touched up the need for a National Security Strategy, Need for Institutionalized Coordination and Follow-up mechanism, Reforms in Intelligence Agencies and Higher Defence Organisation. 

Indo-Japan Maritime Security Cooperation in a Changing Environment

Young Scholar’s Forum 2016, Japan Foundation and ICRIER, India Habitat Center, August 19, 2016

Prakash Panneerselvam, Post Doctoral Associate, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

Dr. Panneerselvam spoke at the Young Scholars’ Forum 2016 organised by The Japan Foundation and ICRIER. The panel was chaired by Professor G.V.C Naidu, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Abstract of Talk: The changing security environment in Indo-pacific region demands a strong bilateral and multilateral security cooperation between like minded countries. The paper discusses India-Japan shared interest in the Indo-pacific region and growing maritime security cooperation to deter security threats in the region. 

To read more about the conference click here

India’s Relations with its Near-Abroad

Asia Center, IAS Officers’ Association, Bangalore, August 20, 2016

M. Mayilvaganan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

m-mayilvagananAbstract of Lecture: India’s security and well-being are interlinked with its immediate neighbourhood. However, India’s relations with its neighbours have never been entirely free of problems. This was perhaps inevitable as there are huge differences in every aspect – geographic, political, economic and military- between India and its neighbours with which it shares its borders.

New Delhi aspires to a major role in the world, however, for about four decades after independence had been focused on the major powers, while unresolved issues with its neighbours festered. Particularly, Kashmir issue kept New Delhi much on fire fighting – dealing – with Pakistan in the region, the US internationally, and domestically Kashmir and, in between tackling China (1962). Besides, this forced New Delhi to maintain undemanding relations with its immediate neighbours, even when some incidents affected its strategic interest. The US and later China have stepped into the breach, and has made energetic strides in economic cooperation and military relations with neighbours which India has been unable or unwilling to satisfy their aspirations. Nevertheless, India’s more energetic efforts to shape its environment occasionally too have been met with accusations of hegemonism. 

The talk focused mainly on Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as a case study. First reviewed briefly the history of India’s relations with these neighbours, identified shortcomings in policy, if any, and particularly, looked into the manner in which the BJP-led NDA coalition government and later UPA government has conducted foreign policy with its neighbours with reference to Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from 1998 to 2014. Finally, reviewed recent developments under the current NDA government and discussed the way ahead for improving relations with neighbour. And, in doing so, the aim was to examine whether there is much change in India’s approach today than earlier.

Creating a Rare Earth Industry in India

Indo-French Workshop, “Challenges in the Processing and Recycling of Rare-Earth (CIPRE)”, Pune, July 19-21, 2016

Lalitha Sundaresan, Visiting Professor, International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies 

Professor Lalitha Sundaresan was invited to deliver a talk at the Indo-French Workshop, “Challenges in the Processing and Recycling of Rare-earth (CIPRE)”, organized at Pune from July 19-21, 2016, under the aegis of CEFIPRA (Indo French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research). This workshop was organized to strengthen and consolidate Rare Earth research and development in our country. The workshop focus on rare earths separation technologies (primarily solvent extraction), Recycling and Strategy and Road Map. The event was jointly organized by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Institut de Chimie Séparative de Marcoule (ICSM) France, Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) and CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML), Jamshedpur. The Abstract was co-authored by Prof Lalitha Sundaresan and Prof. S. Chandrashekar.

Abstract of Talk: India has significant rare earth resources and yet does not figure in the global rare earth value chain. In the global rare earth industry life cycle India continues to remain in the early incubation R&D phase. There are many rare earth based products that could be manufactured in India. Technologies for manufacturing rare earth permanent magnets that are used commercially and also find use in the defense sectors are already available. This talk will focus on the critical RE intermediate products that India should manufacture and emphasises the need for developing an RE industry eco-system in the country.

Harnessing S & T: The Political-Economies of Technology and the Sciences in India’s Policymaking

Society for Policy Studies-India Habitat Center Changing Asia Series, New Delhi, July 18, 2016

V. Siddhartha, Adjunct Faculty, National Institute of Advanced Studies

As part of the Changing Asia Series, the Society for Policy Studies (SPS) in association with the India Habitat Centre (IHC) organized a public lecture on ” Harnessing S&T: The Political-Economies of Technology and the Sciences in India’s Policymaking”, on July 18, 2016. Led by Dr. V. Siddhartha, the emphasis of this lecture was to highlight the nuances of both, science in Indian policy (both foreign and domestic) and policies on science in India per se, with specific focus on those aspects that have been missing from the conversations on Science and Technology (S &T) in India. One of the principal curators of India’s scientific landscape in the last two decades, the speaker opened the lecture by highlighting the intricate association that exists between S & T and the social and economic advancement of India.

To read the complete text of the lecture click here

Conducting Academic and Policy Research related to National and International Security Issues
Sign up for Updates

Enter your email below

We will not share your email