The Current Status of Indian Foreign Policy with the G20 Presidency

Press Release


The #IMPRI Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi conducted a Three-Day Immersive Online Certificate Training Course on ‘India’s G20 Presidency and the Contours of Indian Foreign Policy’ from March 14-16, 2023. Inaugurating the sessions, Mr Aashwash Mahanta, a researcher at IMPRI, welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with an introduction to the eminent panellists. The course was commenced and moderated by Dr Simi Mehta, CEO and Editorial Director at IMPRI, who highlighted our country’s pressing situation.

The eminent panellists for the course included Ambassador Shashank, a retired IFS Officer and Former Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, India; Captain Alok Bansal, Director at the Centre for Security & Strategy, India Foundation; Ms Nandita Baruah the Country Representative-India, The Asia Foundation; Ambassador Anil Trigunayat, the former Indian Ambassador to Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Libya and Malta; Prof Sanjay Chaturvedi, the Professor & Chairperson (IR), Department of International Relations, South Asian University; Prof Sanjukta Bhattacharya, Retired Professor, International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Mr Don McLain Gill, Geopolitical Analyst and Author, The Philippines; Dr Parama Sinhapalit an Adjunct Senior Fellow, at Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore; and Prof Annpurna Nautiyal, the Vice-Chancellor of the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttaranchal.

Day 1 | March 14, 2023

The first day of the session witnessed presentations and videos by Dr Parama Sinhapalit on India’s Digital Public Diplomacy and Global Brand-Building stressing that these were instrumental in highlighting India’s communication with world audiences via social media that, in return, helps in building brand and giving an opportunity to a larger audience to interact at same platform through debates and discussions. Taking forward the course Prof Annpurna Nautiyal emphasizes the theme of the G20 Presidency- ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, i.e. one earth, one family, one future. Targeting the broader aspect along with political, military and economic security, she also added health security which has transformed the globe from a global village to a Google village. She further highlighted the impact of 3D’s i.e. democracy, diplomacy and dialogue that can be used to create the power of innovation and invention that is the need for our country in this developing era.

Mr Don McLain Gill highlighted India’s relations with East members countries that reflect how the North should symphonise its ties with the Southern countries with the help of the presentation on Understanding the Evolution of India’s foreign policy towards Southeast Asia by branching it into five stages- the Cold War Era (1947-1991), the Down of the Look East Policy (1991-2001), the Post 9/11 Era (2001-2014), the Establishment of Act East (2014-2018), the Rise of Indo-Pacific Construct (2018) and explained these accordingly. The session concluded with closing remarks by Dr Simi Mehta, who thanked and praised the team at IMPRI for hosting a successful panel discussion and for ensuring the smooth functioning of the event.

Day 2 | March 15, 2023

The second day of the course began with an exhaustive presentation by Ambassador Shashank (IFS, Retd.), who highlighted the importance of diplomatic relations and India’s emergence with other world leaders through the evolution of diplomatic relations over a period of time as well as the role of diplomacy in G20 analysis. His further discussion revolved around world economic crises as well as various measures that India needs to take as well as challenges that India will face while hosting G20 Presidency. Taking the discussion forward Ms Nandita Baruah spoke on the role of Feminist Foreign Policy in India’s G20 presidency. She emphasized the need to ensure equitable growth for women in the emerging economy and a shared future should be the key driving force for India’s G20 Presidency. She focussed on the need to come up with measures to resolve issues such as marginalization as well as health issues. 

The discussion was concluded with Captain Alok Bansal‘s viewpoints on India’s Security Challenges in Changing World Order in which he focussed on three points i.e., the recent developments in the world which will impact India’s security challenges: first, the People’s Republic of China managed to negotiate a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran; second, the Russian-Ukrain conflict; and third, India’s neighbourhood, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He discussed these issues in detail and showed a new perspective on the future of security in India.

Day 3 | March 16, 2023

The concluding day began with Ambassador Anil Trigunayat‘s discussion of the world’s emergence from its geopolitics from the Cold War era to the present. He emphasized the impact of 3F’s crisis that is impacted the world by taking the example of the Russia-Ukraine war i.e. Fertilisers, Fuel and Food but after the pandemic, there has been a shift in the 4-H i.e Hunger, Habitat, High technology and Health. Prof Sanjukta Bhattacharya started with how the G20 was formulated why the G20 idea was conceived, what was the idea behind its conception and how it was implemented and further provide facts and data as to how the government is planning to take it forward via various thematic summits that will be conducted and what will be its outcomes.

Prof Sanjay Chaturvedi spotlighted the new frontier of Indian foreign policy. He drew on the Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy and the FIIA Report- Great Power Competition And The Rising Indo-China Rivalry by Bart Gaens and Ville Sinkkonen to highlight some key themes. He also emphasized G20’s major focus areas such as ecological sustainability, the growing frequency and intensity of natural disasters and the complexity of climate change. Every session was followed by an interactive question and answer round which facilitated a more nuanced understanding of the topics and ensured a more depth understanding among the participants into the subject matter that India will play by hosting the G20 summit this year. 

Concluding the third-day session, Dr Simi Mehta thanked the panel members for their insightful sessions and the program ended with a vote of thanks given by Mr Aashwash Mahanta.

Watch the Event at IMPRI #Web Policy Talk

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