Tag Archives: India-Myanmar Relations

Towards Mutual Benefit: Paradigm Shift in India’s Development Cooperation with Myanmar

Diplomatist Magazine, January 2017, Pg 15-17

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

With the rapid growth of economy, India has expanded its development assistance to other developing countries substantially. Indeed, development cooperation assistance is one of the effective tools of Indian foreign policy today that is employed for building relationship, solidarity, leveraging soft power and in furthering India’s strategic interest. The ethos behind India’s approach is to foster “development partnerships” that would contribute for the mutual benefit of both India and the beneficiary. At the moment India’s relationship and development partnership with Myanmar has gathered momentum. Thanks to New Delhi’s realisation that ideology oriented isolation policy and economic protectionism would not aid in fostering own geo-strategic and geo-economic interest. Notably, New Delhi extends its unstinting development partnership to Nay Pyi Daw on three fronts: connectivity infrastructure, training and capacity building, grants and line of credits. Nevertheless, to achieve desired goals India needs to work on gathering legitimacy through commitment, projection of India’s positive image, coordination among the various ministries, and successful completion of all the pending development projects that it has undertaken so far.

Sri Pendakur Virupanna Memorial Endowment Lecture: Challenges before Myanmar

Indian Institute of World Culture, February 28, 2016

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

Dr. Mayilvaganan will be delivering the Sri Pendakur Virupanna Memorial Endowment Lecture on the topic “Challenges before Myanmar.” The lecture is organised by the Indian Institute of World Culture, Bengaluru. It will be held at the Wadia Hall, Basavanagudi, Bangalore on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 6.15 PM onwards. The invitation of the lecture is appended below. 

Mayil IIWC Myanmar Talk

Visit to Myanmar

Visit to Myanmar, December 16-24, 2015

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

Suparna Banerjee, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Advanced Studies

The two member team comprising Dr. M. Mayilvaganan and Ms. Suparna Banerjee from International Strategic and Security Studies Programme (ISSSP) at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore visited Myanmar from December 16 to 24, 2015 as part of a research study on India-Myanmar Relations. The team visited Yangon, Naypyitaw and Mandalay. During the visit the ISSSP team met government officials, officials in public enterprises, consultants, elected representatives from NLD and USDP, media personalities, academics, analysts, people from hospitality industries and Indian embassy officials among others.

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The visit was an attempt to gain a comprehension of the emerging dynamics in Myanmar, transition, people’s aspiration, the image of India in Myanmar and the existing opportunities for India in scaling up its ties, investment etc. and its associated risk.

Visit to Manipur

Visit to Manipur, December 2-5, 2015

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

As part of a study on India-Myanmar relations Dr. M. Mayilvaganan, Asst. Professor, International Strategic and Security Studies (ISSSP) at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore visited Manipur – Imphal and Moreh – from 2 to 5 December 2015.

The following were the objectives of the visit:

  1. To gain a deeper understanding of the Northeast perspective on Myanmar and the India’s engagement with Myanmar and in particular the Manipur’s point of view;
  2. To examine the current realities in the border region and to comprehend the challenges as well as potentials in augmenting India’s ties with Myanmar.

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During the course of the visit, Dr Mayilvaganan met with government officials, trade union leaders, academics, members of the media and locals, which provided a very valuable and inspirational experience in understanding the region’s linkages – ethnic, culture, social, political and economic – with Myanmar. The visit not only enabled consolidation of existing knowledge but also provided an opportunity to expand the horizons and abilities by acquiring first‐hand knowledge about the region as a whole.

Myanmar at the Crossroads: International Conference

The International Strategic and Security Studies (ISSSP), National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, organised an international conference entitled ‘Myanmar at the Crossroads: Current Realities, Challenges and Opportunities’ between July 20-22, 2015 at NIAS.

The conference discussed and deliberated the dynamics of political change and regime transition in Myanmar and what it meant for the world today and in particular for India.

Leading experts, academics, policymakers, journalists from India, Myanmar and the region participated in the three-day International Conference.

Group Photo of Speakers and Participants | International Confernce: Myanmar at the Crossroads | NIAS, July 20-22, 2015

Group Photo of Speakers and Participants | Myanmar at the Crossroads | NIAS, July 20-22, 2015


Conference Concept Note
Conference Schedule
Conference Summary

About the Conference

It is critical to explore how these changes will evolve in the coming years and its impact on politics, economy and society of the country and Myanmar’s relations with other powers. The Conference also seeks to address the developments that are shaping the internal dynamics apart from mapping challenges and opportunities in Myanmar. It is in this context that understanding India’s approach towards Myanmar and developing a coherent posture becomes significant so as to achieve India’s larger strategic interests. A careful examination and analysis of this therefore, becomes the main focus of the conference.

For long, India has discussed and debated the ‘Look East’, now called ‘Act East’, policy, as well as better road and rail connectivity that would boost tourism and investments in the Northeast. While the policy discusses what it would include as its goals – development, connectivity to Southeast Asia, more economic growth, etc. – very few in Northeast India understand why it is important for them, or how it will contribute to the prosperity of the region. Hence, it is also essential to understand the Northeast perspective on Myanmar. Finally it becomes imperative to understand the political, economic and defence engagement of China with the Myanmar.

The key thematic questions that will weave together the multiple interactive sessions of the conference are:-

  1. How far will the changes in Myanmar go? Are the changes in Myanmar irreversible?
  2. Does the change in Myanmar signify a real transition or is this more of spin and propaganda by the military, designed to relax international pressure while maintaining their grip on power?
  3. Will the general elections slated for October/November this year affect ongoing reforms? What lies ahead in Myanmar?
  4. How is the Myanmar-China relationship evolving?
  5. Does India have leverage in Myanmar vis-a-vis rising profile of other powers?
  6. Will India’s approach towards Myanmar suffice in the post-2011 scenario? If not what can be the appropriate approach that India can have?
  7. Does the stability in Myanmar’s periphery in turn secure India’s own north-eastern region?
  8. What are the challenges and opportunities that exist in Myanmar for India and in particular for the Indian industry?

Photos from the Conference

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Videos of Presentation and Discussions at the Conference

Full videos of all presentations and discussions that took place at the conference.

For accessing the ISSSP YouTube Channel click here

Myanmar at the Crossroads: Current Realities, Challenges and Opportunities

The International Strategic and Security Studies (ISSSP), National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, is organising an international conference entitled ‘Myanmar at the Crossroads: Current Realities, Challenges and Opportunities’. The conference intends to discuss and deliberate on the dynamics of political change and regime transition in Myanmar and what it means for the world today and in particular for India.

Myanmar at the Crossroads:

Current Realities, Challenges and Opportunities

on

July 20-22, 2015

at the

JRD Tata Auditorium, NIAS, IISc Campus, Bangalore – 560012

NOTE: Participation is by invitation only

For details contact: Dr. M Mayilvaganan at mumayil@yahoo.com &

 CC to Kaveri Ashok at kaveriashok@outlook.com


Conference Concept Note
Conference Schedule

About the Conference

It is critical to explore how these changes will evolve in the coming years and its impact on politics, economy and society of the country and Myanmar’s relations with other powers. The Conference also seeks to address the developments that are shaping the internal dynamics apartmyanmar from mapping challenges and opportunities in Myanmar. It is in this context that understanding India’s approach towards Myanmar and developing a coherent posture becomes significant so as to achieve India’s larger strategic interests. A careful examination and analysis of this therefore, becomes the main focus of the conference.

For long, India has discussed and debated the ‘Look East’, now called ‘Act East’, policy, as well as better road and rail connectivity that would boost tourism and investments in the Northeast. While the policy discusses what it would include as its goals – development, connectivity to Southeast Asia, more economic growth, etc. – very few in Northeast India understand why it is important for them, or how it will contribute to the prosperity of the region. Hence, it is also essential to understand the Northeast perspective on Myanmar. Finally it becomes imperative to understand the political, economic and defence engagement of China with the Myanmar.

The key thematic questions that will weave together the multiple interactive sessions of the conference are:-

  1. How far will the changes in Myanmar go? Are the changes in Myanmar irreversible?
  2. Does the change in Myanmar signify a real transition or is this more of spin and propaganda by the military, designed to relax international pressure while maintaining their grip on power?
  3. Will the general elections slated for October/November this year affect ongoing reforms? What lies ahead in Myanmar?
  4. How is the Myanmar-China relationship evolving?
  5. Does India have leverage in Myanmar vis-a-vis rising profile of other powers?
  6. Will India’s approach towards Myanmar suffice in the post-2011 scenario? If not what can be the appropriate approach that India can have?
  7. Does the stability in Myanmar’s periphery in turn secure India’s own north-eastern region?
  8. What are the challenges and opportunities that exist in Myanmar for India and in particular for the Indian industry?

The conference will make an attempt to identify recommendations for policy makers to strengthen the relations between the two countries. 

Myanmar Peace process: India’s official participation

Niti Central,March 21, 2015

Suparna Banerjee, Junior Research Fellow, ISSSP, NIAS

xniti_central.jpg.pagespeed.ic.FAgG9ZSo4jIndia’s foreign policy has for the most part sought to maintain its distance from interfering in the internal matters of another country. Myanmar is no exception, though one has witnessed a steady support for the democratic movement in the country by India. Myanmar has embarked on the path towards a permanent peace with the involvement of the rebel groups in the peace accord. India has decided to participate in it, depicting a’bold shift’ in its foreign policy. The article makes an attempt to examine the  origins of the peace talks in Myanmar and India’s role in the process.

To read the complete article click here

India-Myanmar Relations: It’s time to Seize the Opportunity

“India-Myanmar Relation: It’s time to Seize the Opportunity”, in Susanta Kumar Parida Ed., India and its Neighbours, Mayur Publications, 2015, ISBN: 978-81-89626-53-2, INR-600/-

Suparna Banerjee, Junior Research Fellow, ISSSP

india-and-its-neighboursOne of India’s less talked about neighbours is Myanmar. This is despite the fact that the country shares a long border with India. However, India has been wise not to neglect the strategic significance of Myanmar. This is mainly attributed to the social, political and economic interests emanating from India’s North East coupled with the tremendous influence of China over Myanmar. This chapter makes an attempt to trace the historical relation between India and Myanmar up to the present. The various spheres of engagement and India’s rising ambition to reach out to other South East Asian countries via Myanmar has been a key focus of the chapter.

The book can be bought from Flipkart

India and Myanmar: A model of ‘working relation’

India Speaks Now, March 16, 2015

Suparna Banerjee, Junior Research Fellow, ISSSP, NIAS

india-speaks-logo_31It would be incomplete to suggest that the engagement between India and Myanmar has renewed in the recent months. It would also be untrue to imply India abandoned relations with Myanmar in the past. However, one could argue that bilateral relations have been subdued. In the recent years,  the relations between the two states has gradually begun to hog the limelight for various reasons. The article makes an attempt to highlight how India has always maintained a “working” relation with its neighbour while, making an appeal for democratic changes as well.

To read the complete article click here

India-Myanmar Relations: Assessing New Dynamics

World Focus, N. 417, September 2014

Monish Tourangbam, Assistant Professor, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University

Ramya P.S, Junior Research Fellow, National Institute of Advanced Studies

image6949In recent times, few other events in world politics has garnered the attention of practitioners and scholars as the relative opening of Myanmar has done, erstwhile under the iron fist rule of the military. While countries increasingly make a beeline to engage resource-rich and strategically located Myanmar, several challenges remain, both internal and external in nature. As India envisions a more comprehensive and more broad-based relationship with Myanmar in its new avatar, New Delhi has to juggle amidst challenges emerging out of Myanmar’s own political dynamics in addition to India’s security concerns, its economic ambitions and the strategic dimensions of an emerging balance of power game in Asia.

Conducting Academic and Policy Research related to National and International Security Issues
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