We explore the fundamental issues of our times that will shape India’s future – its comprehensive national power, evolving international balance of power, interlinkages between geography, politics, security, economics and technology and the meaning of sovereignty and territorial integrity in a digitalized world. We will study India’s role on the global stage as a civilisational state and examine India’s grand strategy.

We examine the attributes of major powers and civilisations, what makes countries great powers, what drives their actions and what this means for India. Major powers include the United States, China, Russia, Europe, and Japan. Civilisational states include Iran and Turkey.

As a peninsular country, India has both a continental and maritime neighbourhood. We study India’s immediate and extended neighbourhoods from Morocco to Indonesia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean Region. We look at regional processes, fragile states and conflicts and the role of external powers.

Pankaj Saran and PK Saxena Jun 2023

The Indus Waters Treaty: Time to move ahead

Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir Apr 2023

Brutality in the Gandhi Ashram

Syed Badrul Ahsan Apr 2023

Bangladesh: Revisiting March 1971

Shantanu Mukharji Apr 2023

Bangladesh in the Election Year

National Security

We study threats faced by large pluralistic societies, particularly democracies, from terrorism, radicalization, extremism, illegal migration, narcotics, economic imbalances, religious and social tensions, and poor governance, and what this means for India as a civilizational state.

We look at the challenges facing the Indian Armed Forces, India’s military strategy and doctrine, the security environment, the future of warfare, defence modernisation and indigenisation.

New threats to a nation’s security emanate from information warfare and influence operations, new weapons, dual-use technologies, and new domains of contestation such as information, cyber, maritime, space and artificial intelligence. We study the implications of this for the security of states.

Technology and Economy

Critical and emerging technologies are the new determinant of national power. India is investing heavily in them. We examine the challenges ahead and put the spotlight on strategic materials, rare earths and competition for mineral and natural resources. We study the interplay between technology self-sufficiency, interdependence and dual-use R&D from a security point of view.

The weaponization of economic, trade, investment and financial flows, disruption of supply chains, reshoring, off-shoring, and on-shoring of manufacturing, and securitization of economic policies are challenging existing norms of state behaviour. We look at how these profound shifts are impacting the global South, the meanings of India’s doctrine of self-reliance (atmanirbharta) and the challenges in developing India’s human capital.