Tag Archives: M Mayilvaganan

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.


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.

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.


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.

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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.

Are the Indian Fishermen ‘Carefully Careless’? Fishing Conflicts In The Palk Bay

M. Mayilvaganan, Assistant Professor, NIAS

NIAS Wednesday Meeting, June 29, 2016

AdarshDr. M. Mayilvaganan, Assistant Professor, ISSSP, NIAS presented his research on the tensions between India and Sri Lanka over fishing in the Palk bay on June 29, 2016 at the NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meeting. The already troubled waters of the Palk Bay were further muddied with the arrest of eleven fishermen during the first week of June 2016 and confiscation of their trawlers by the Sri Lankan navy over illegal fishing. 

This contentious and flammable issue not only makes headlines in the local and foreign media, but also been a serious issue in Tamil Nadu. From time to time, it stirs the resentment of the fishermen folk and political parties in Tamil Nadu, leading to demonstrations and even violent protests. Above all, it often boils into a major political controversy with the national and state political parties blaming each other for the crisis besides bringing the government of Tamil Nadu directly against the Centre.

To read the complete event report click here

Chinese New Maritime Silk Route Initiative: Opportunity or Threat for India?

“Chinese New Maritime Silk Route Initiative: Opportunity or Threat for India?” in R. Sidda Goud and Manisha Mookherjee, Eds., Sino-Indian Relations: Contemporary Perspective, Allied Publishers, 2016.

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

Sino India Relations Goud MookherjeeChina is increasingly demonstrating its assertiveness and employs various strategies to maximize its interest in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Chinese president Xi Jinping declaration of Beijing’s plans to establish a “New 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR),” part of the One Belt, One Road initiative is the latest initiative that envisage greater economic cooperation and connectivity from Quanzhou in Fujian to Red Sea (into the Mediterranean via Athens) and then linking up with its land silk route at Venice. With the pledged US$40 billion (in the Silk Road Fund) Chinas intend to develop infrastructure along the route and through these makes efforts to consolidate its existing projects. This scheme not only opens up greater economic opportunities for China and its corporation but will also contribute in enlarging its sphere of influence.

Significantly, the response from the countries in the region to China’s MSR proposal ranges from mixed to lukewarm. Many of the countries in Asia-Pacific have welcomed and keen to join, whereas on the other hand countries like India have maintained silence. The China’s massive investment and projects in many of the littoral states in India’s neighbourhood, New Delhi joining Beijing’s New Silk Road seems far from reality. The dynamics of India-China relations and the apprehension among policy makers and security establishment is primary rationale. Even though India may benefit from the projects to an extent (for instance, development of Northeast India or coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal) the MSR poses challenges to India’s commercial, economic and political interest. The book chapter largely focused on understanding the MSR from India’s strategic interest perspective and in this context analyses Whether the Chinese MSR project is an opportunity or threat to India? Even if it’s going to benefit India, the question is how much India stands to gain from this China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

KAS-Chatham House Workshop on Resources, Sovereignty and Geopolitics

KAS-Chatam House Workshop, Hong Kong, May 26-27, 2016

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

Dr. M. Mayilvaganan participated in the KAS-Chatham House International Workshop on “Resources, Sovereignty and Geopolitics” on May 26 – 27, 2016, Hong Kong. In addition to being a discussant in the workshop that dealt with issues like South China Sea, Natural Resources and Non-Traditional Security Challenges, Dr. Mayil also chaired a session on “Natural Resources – Regional Integration and Geopolitical Shifts” where Chatham House Senior Fellow Dr. Tim Summers and Research Associate Ms. Sian Bradley presented their papers. This Interdisciplinary Workshop exchanged ideas about the causes of intergovernmental tensions concerning the access to natural resources in Asia. The focus was on developing concepts for a more efficient cooperation and the prevention of conflicts.

To read more about the conference click here

Myanmar 2016: What next for the NLD?

Myanmar 2016: What next for the NLD?

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 5 | Author: M. Mayilvaganan | March 2016 

To read the complete report click here

To cite: M. Mayilvaganan. Myanmar 2016: What next for the NLD? NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 5. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, March 2016, available at http://isssp.in/myanmar-2016-what-next-for-the-nld/

NSF 5Myanmar has witnessed significant political and socioeconomic changes during the last five years. Civilian leaders have emerged in a military dominated polity where policy decisions are made through the Parliament. With a GDP growth rate of 7.7 percent and an estimated $74 billion in 2015, Myanmar is one of the rising economies today compared to being a least developed country few years ago. The daily life of the average citizen in Myanmar is better, aided by increasing investment, employment opportunities and new found personal freedom.

While there is widespread recognition within and internationally that the military (Tatmadaw) is the main driver of the current transition, yet there are big questions: Will the military permit triumphant National League for Democracy (NLD) to govern the country peacefully? Will the meaningful changes initiated in 2011 continue? Will Myanmar under NLD move towards a more inclusive and stable development progress? Will peace be finally achieved between the centre – Bamar dominated government – and the periphery – ethnic minorities, which control parts of the states in the border areas? Will NLD succeed in addressing the thorny issue of the religious minority Rohingyas? How will the relations between Myanmar and China develop under NLD regime?

Special Lectures by Dr. Mayilvaganan at Pondicherry University

Department of Politics and International Studies, Pondicherry University, March 23, 2016

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

pondiuni_logoDr. M. Mayilvaganan is invited to deliver a Special Lectures at the Department of Politics and International Studies, Pondicherry University on March 23, 2016.

The topic for the first lecture is “Soldiers and Democrat: Where Does Myanmar Stand Today? This will be followed by another lecture on “India and the Changing Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region.”

For the invite to the lecture click here

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