February 2019

Dear Friend,

The Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) had an engaging month in February, continuing our studies and research on China and East Asia on the one hand, and holding various events and activities on the other.

EVENTS AND Activities

The highlight of the month was the annual Giri Deshingkar Memorial Lecture, which is jointly organized by the ICS and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. Held in collaboration with the India International Centre (IIC) on 12 February, the 13th edition of the Lecture was delivered by by Prof. Mark Elliott, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History at Harvard University, USA on The Historical Silk Road and the Belt and Road Initiative (YouTube) (SoundCloud).

On 27 February at IIC, we released the edited volume China at a Turning Point: Perspectives after the 19th Party Congress. Edited by Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Honorary Fellow, ICS, the book, comprising essays by a group of 25 China experts of India associated with the ICS, examines multiple transitions underway in China and Xi Jinping’s initiatives in the context of what is proclaimed as a ‘new era’.The release of the book was followed by a panel discussion which involved Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty; Prof. Patricia Uberoi, Chaiperson, ICS; Amb. Kishan Rana, Emeritus Fellow, ICS; Dr. Govind Kelkar, Adjunct Fellow, ICS; and myself (YouTube) (SoundCloud).

We organized two special lectures at the ICS last month. The first one on 7 February was on Governance of Government Middle Schools in Beijing and Delhi: Supportive Accountability, Incentives and Capacity by Yan Yifei,  a PhD candidate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore (SoundCloud). The second one was on China’s New Borders in the 21st Century by Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Professor of Public Policy, University of Victoria, Canada on 25 February (SoundCloud).

We had two Wednesday Seminars this month. The first was on War, Memories, and National Identity: Assessing the Role of War in the Evolution of Modern Indian Identity by Mr. Muhammed Kunhi, Research Associate, ICS; and the second was on China Factor in India-America Relations (1942-62) by Dr. Atul Bhardwaj, Adjunct Fellow, ICS (SoundCloud).


We published one ICS Analysis this month: The Illusion of Universal Health Care: Medical Insurance as the Panacea by Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Assistant Director, ICS.

We also had three Occassional PapersUS-China Geo-technology Race and the Lessons for India: Importance of Indigenous Technologies in Enhancing Indian Defence Capabilities by Amb. Smita Purushottam, Founder-Chairperson, SITARA; Defending a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region by Prof. David Arase, Resident Professor, Hopkins-Nanjing Center, John Hopkins University; and Regional Differences and Ownership Roles in the R&D and Innovation Activities of Chinese Industrial Enterprises by Dr. Surajit Deb, Associate Professor, Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi.

We had one ICS Blog this month on What will China do if there is an India-Pakistan War? by Mr. Muhammad Kunhi, Research Associate, ICS.

In the Media

Our Research Assistant Mr. Uday Khanapurkar wrote for The Diplomat on China’s recent economic data release. Research Associate Dr. Gunjan Singh penned two articles for Observer Research Foundation on Taiwan’s apprehension about Beijing’s recent moves and on recent developments in China-North Korea ties. Visiting Associate Fellow Dr. Shamshad Khan shared his views on how India’s defence readiness with regard to China and Pakistan suffers from a lack of budget allocation for Nikkei Asian Review. Our Research Assistant Ms. Prarthana Basu wrote for The Diplomat on China’s silence on India’s fight against terror.

Faculty Updates

Our Vice-Chairperson Prof. Sreemati Chakrabarti took over as Editor, China Report this month, replacing Dr. Madhavi Thampi, who stepped down after an outstanding tenure as the editor of our flagship quarterly journal.

ICS research staff and fellows who had essays in Manoranjan Mohanty (ed.) 'China at a Turning Point: Perspectives after the 19th Party Congress', (New Delhi: Pentagon Press) include: Prof. Sreemati Chakrabarti; Amb. C. V. Ranganathan, ICS Emeritus Fellow; Dr. Anurag Vishwanath, ICS Adjunct Fellow; Dr. Ritu Agarwal, ICS Adjunct Fellow; Dr. Bhim B. Subba, Research Associate, ICS; Dr. Raviprasad Narayanan, ICS Adjunct Fellow; Amb. Kishan S. Rana; Prof. Alka Acharya, ICS Honorary Fellow; Dr. Atul Kumar, Visiting Associate Fellow, ICS; Ravi Bhoothalingam, ICS Honorary Fellow; Dr. Aravind Yelery, former Assistant Director, ICS; Prof. Jabin T. Jacob, former Senior Fellow, ICS; Dr. P. K. Anand, Research Associate ICS; Prof. T. G. Suresh, ICS Adjunct Fellow; Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Assistant Director, ICS; Dr. Rajiv Ranjan, ICS Adjunct Fellow; Dr. Tshering Chonzom, Associate Fellow, ICS; Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, ICS Honorary Fellow;  Prof. Sabaree Mitra, ICS Honorary Fellow; and Prof. Tan Chung, ICS Emeritus Fellow.

ICS Chairperson Prof. Patricia Uberoi published a paper titled: ‘The BCIM Economic Corridor: Does it Subsume the BCIM Regional Cooperation Forum?’, in the book co-edited by Gurudas Das and C. Joshua Thomas, BCIM: Economic Cooperation: Interplay of Geo-economics and Geo-politics, published by Routledge. She was also the chair at the Inaugural Session of the Seminar on China under Xi Jinping, organized by the Department of East Asian Studies, Delhi University, on 14 February. She was the chair and discussant at the Inaugural Session of the International Conference on “Materiality and Visuality in North East India”, organized by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, on 28 February.

ICS Honorary Fellow Virendra Verma attended on invitation from Minister of Defense Nirmala Sitharaman as a veteran at the inauguration of National War Memorial near India by the Prime Minister on 25 February.

Our Research Associate, Dr. P.K. Anand continued his fieldwork in Mumbai in the first week of February, on Labour Relations in Leather Goods Manufacturing in India and China, as part of the Fellowship awarded by the India China Institute, New School for Social Research, New York City, USA, under their China India Scholar Leaders Initiative. 

My own engagements included delivering the keynote address at the above-mentioned conference on ‘China Under Xi Jinping’ hosted by the Department of East Asian Studies, Delhi University on 14 February and speaking on ‘Is the USA Losing the Plot in Asia?’ at Carnegie India on 28 February.

The ICS Website, Facebook and Twitter accounts are among the several ways you can get the latest on our publications and activities. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter to follow our events and publications as well as browse our YouTube and SoundCloud channels.

I look forward to seeing you at more of our events.

Best Regards,
Ashok K. Kantha
Institute of Chinese Studies


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