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Facets Of National Security: Challenges & Opportunities – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

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Facets of National Security: Challenegs & Opportunities

Session Report
Nikita Saha

Organized by the Centre for International Relations and Strategic Studies in collaboration with the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, the Diplomacy and Foreign Policy Autumn’23 program is a comprehensive one-month online certificate training course and internship program. The program features an immersive curriculum and delves into critical contemporary issues impacting the international landscape. The seventh day of the program focuses on the timely and interlinked themes of “National Security, Climate Change, and Feminist Foreign Policy.” This session promises a rich and nuanced exploration of these interconnected topics, bringing together expert insights from distinguished panellists.

Leading the discussion for Day 7 will be an esteemed panel comprised of Captain Alok BansalDirector of the Center for Security and Strategy at India Foundation, New Delhi, whose extensive experience in security matters offers invaluable perspectives on national security considerations. 

Through the engaging panel discussion and interactive elements, participants in the program will gain a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between national security, climate change, and feminist foreign policy, equipping them with critical knowledge and valuable perspectives on these pressing global challenges.

Challenges to National Security

Captain. Alok Bansal expressed gratitude for the opportunity to interact with IMPRI programs and dove into the complex topic of national security, emphasising the evolving nature of the challenges and opportunities faced by India. The discussion primarily focused on facets related to military security.

Traditionally, national security has been viewed through the lens of military and territorial concerns. However, the speaker highlighted the contemporary expansion of security considerations beyond the military sphere. Economic security, energy security, food security, environmental security, climate change, and cyber security have become integral components of the national security discourse.

Captain Alok Bansal categorised security challenges into internal and external dimensions. Internally, challenges stem from sub-national forces, socio-economic issues like left-wing extremism, and religious extremism leading to terrorism. The longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir characterised as a quasi-religious, quasi-two-states problem between India and Pakistan, adds complexity to internal security.

Externally, India faces challenges with its neighbours due to historical, cultural, and geopolitical factors. Boundaries, resource sharing, and water-sharing disputes contribute to tensions. The speaker noted that sagacious diplomacy had resolved many issues with neighbouring countries, except for Pakistan and China, which have territorial disputes with India.

On the positive side, India’s emergence as a major economy has created opportunities for diplomatic alignment with other nations. Western powers, including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia, have sought closer ties with India, viewing it as a bulwark against authoritarian regimes, primarily referring to China and Russia.

Recent global events, such as the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict, have brought new challenges. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has impacted India’s food and energy security, with rising energy prices affecting the global market. Furthermore, the potential alignment of Russia with China poses a concern, given Russia’s historical alliance with India in defence matters. The Israel-Hamas conflict has implications for India’s relations with both the Arab states and Israel, potentially affecting the proposed Middle Eastern corridor that could have transformed India’s economic prospects.

In conclusion, Captain Alok Bansal highlighted the need for India to navigate through these challenges while leveraging its demographic dividend and educated workforce. The evolving geopolitical landscape, economic considerations, and regional conflicts require strategic decision-making to secure India’s national interests. The speaker acknowledged the importance of financial strength in shaping India’s global position and expressed readiness to address questions on these critical issues.

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Feminist Foreign Policy & Climate Change

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