Building Capabilities and Capacities for India - Policy suggestions for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government 2024

The Vivekananda International Foundation has published a report Building Capabilities and Capacities for India: Policy Suggestions for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government 2024. It makes several policy suggestions in areas ranging from foreign policy, defence technology and strategic manufacturing to climate change, cybersecurity and culture and civilisation. Based on the expert-level discussions held at the VIF, the report suggests an expansion of diplomatic capacity to enable deeper engagement with the world.

Monthly Compilation of Views of VIF Expert Groups: May 2024

During the month, the VIF Pakistan Experts Group discussed critical issues shaping Pakistan's current landscape. The session focussed on Pakistan's political outlook, noting the dominant role of the military following the marginalisation of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The current Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, faces challenges, reflecting the military's enduring influence despite opposition limitations. Economically, despite potential IMF support and Gulf investments, structural reforms remain elusive, with a shift away from Chinese engagement noted.

Monthly Compilation of Views of VIF Expert Groups: April 2024

During the month, the VIF Pakistan Study Group discussed critical issues shaping Pakistan's current landscape. Among the key topics deliberated were the post-election political dynamics, judiciary crisis, status of political figures Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, terrorism escalation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, Shehbaz Sharif's Saudi Arabia visit, and Afghanistan-Pakistan relations. Following February's parliamentary elections, tensions surged among major parties, leading to disqualification of PTI-backed SIC by the Election Commission.

Monthly Compilation of Views of VIF Expert Groups: March 2024

During the month, the VIF Neighbourhood Experts Group hosted a roundtable discussion to analyse recent developments in Nepal and their implications for India. It emerged that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's removal of the Nepali Congress from the government marked a significant political shift, as he welcomed the Communist Party of Nepal — Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) and two other parties to form a new government, reminiscent of previous coalitions since 2022.

International Strategic Engagement Capsule (IN-STEP)

The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a two-day International Strategic Engagement Programme (IN-STEP) module on March 26-27, 2024, for 37 senior policymakers (both civil and military) including 29 from overseas. The overseas participants came from 21 countries, namely Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Comoros, Guyana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Tanzania, and Thailand.

Visiting Delegations Report - February 2024

The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) was visited by several delegations during the month of February. These included representatives of nine countries, Europe, and a delegation from the SWIFT. Diverse range of issues were discussed, including the global world order, regional security situation, ongoing conflicts, and India’s bilateral relations with the individual countries.

Monthly Compilation of Views of VIF Expert Groups: January 2024

Having joined the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) on 16th January, soon after my superannuation from the Indian Navy on 31 December 2023, I have been assigned the onerous task of editing the ‘Monthly Expert Groups Report’. It is a tall order and I have some very big shoes to fill, considering that my predecessor, Commodore Gopal Suri (Retd.) was handling it. Nevertheless, it would be my endeavour to match up to him. Being my maiden effort, I wish to seek the indulgence of the readers.

Indian Democracy and Governance

The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) receives a large number of foreign delegations, student groups and individuals who do not have a great deal of familiarity with India but wish to know about the country, its history, geography, civilisation, culture, foreign policy, security challenges, etc. A need has been felt for an authentic and informative set of notes which can be used for briefings and be shared with visiting delegations.

Monthly Compilation of Views of VIF Expert Groups: November - December 2023

As 2023 came to a close, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) deliberated on regional issues with implications for India as part of the discussions in its Strategic Issues Group. The ongoing Israel–Palestine conflict has serious implications for India and during the deliberations of this Group, it was abundantly clear that the appetite for the two-state solution seems to have dwindled on both sides. Israel’s stated objective of destroying Hamas appears to be very ambitious, considering the widespread resistance to its ideology, both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Defence Preparedness – A Study Group Report

The purpose of constituting the Study Group on Defence Preparedness was to delve into the issues confronting the nation’s defence preparedness. The focus herein was directed at preservation of the nation’s territorial integrity in the face of China’s persistence in realigning, unilaterally and by the use of military force, the traditional Indo-Tibet Border; the long-continuing military confrontation astride the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) is an obvious preliminary to China’s that grand design.

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