The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is likely to play a major role in the geopolitics of the South-Central Asian region. US withdrawal from Afghanistan, SCO’s focus on post-American Afghanistan, and the growing proximity among China, Russia and Pakistan will make SCO a potent vehicle of regional geopolitics. In this context it would be interesting to analyse the impact of the current geopolitical trends and deteriorating Sino-Indian bilateral relations on India’s engagement with the SCO in the broader context of PRC’s long-term aims vis-à-vis the SCO. What role, if any, will the SCO play in stabilizing the current disquiet in India-China relations? How does India view its role in the SCO in the wake of a two-front challenge from PRC and Pakistan and its larger policy towards Central Asia? How will India balance its engagement in the SCO with its growing participation in the Indo-Pacific agenda through other groupings such as the QUAD?
About the Speaker
Happymon Jacob teaches at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and is the founder and honorary director of the 'Council for Strategic and Defense Research', New Delhi. Prior to joining JNU in 2008, he held teaching positions at the University of Jammu in J&K, and Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi; and research positions at the Centre for Air Power Studies, Delhi Policy Group, and Observer Research Foundation. He is the author of Line on Fire: Ceasefire Violations and India-Pakistan Escalation Dynamics (Oxford University Press, 2019), and Line of Control: Traveling with the Indian and Pakistani Armies (Penguin Viking 2018). His concurrent engagements with the Indian media include a column with The Hindu, and hosting of a weekly video show on national security on thewire.in.
About the Chair
Yogendra Kumar retired from the Indian Foreign Service in 2012 in the rank of Secretary to the government of India. At the time of his retirement, he was Indian Ambassador to the Philippines, with concurrent accreditation to the Pacific Island countries of Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. He has, earlier, been High Commissioner to Namibia and Ambassador to Tajikistan (2000-03) during which period he also handled Afghanistan affairs. He has served on the faculty of the National Defence College and, in the Ministry of External Affairs, he has handled multilateral organisations/dialogues such as G8-G5 Dialogue, ASEAN, EAS, IBSA, IORA etc. Since retirement, he has been writing and speaking on foreign policy and security affairs. His book, ‘Diplomatic Dimension of Maritime Challenges for India in the 21st Century’, was published in 2015 by the Pentagon Press. He has edited and contributed to the book, ‘Whither Indian Ocean Maritime Order?’, containing presentations/articles by eminent security and foreign service experts at a seminar organised by him in November, 2016, on Prime Minister’s landmark speech on Indian Ocean policy. In 2020, Routledge published his book, ‘Geopolitics in the Era of Globalization: Mapping an Alternative Global Future’, in US, Europe and South Asia editions. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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