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"Tough Choices Lie Ahead, for India and US to become meaningful partners in the 21st Century", concludes GNLU Seminar on Indo-US Relations

Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) in association with the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi, conducted a joint Seminar on the Indo-US Relations marking Nine Months since President Obama’s visit to India on Sunday, 21 August 2011.

The seminar aimed at arriving at a holistic conclusion after debate on hard facts and results. The conclusion remained at bay while the debate ensues further for many more such gatherings. The Seminar saw five research papers being presented in areas spread over terrorism, energy, health and good governance.

Prof. Bimal Patel, Director GNLU set the floor debate with his introductory remark where he quoted President Obama "I want every Indian citizen to know, the United States of America will not simply be cheering you on from the sidelines. We will be right there with you, shoulder to shoulder" Professor Patel concluded with some thought-provoking questions such as that the Indo-US relations, in the last decade and especially since the last year, have raised a range of expectations on part of the leadership, economic, security and civil society of both nations. Whether the US will come to be proven as a ‘time-tested ally’ like the Russian Federation, whether the US will have patience and perseverance to remain mutually beneficial engaged with the nation of 1.2 billion population for at least one decade, whether in the security domain, the US will live up towards India in the same way as it lived up to the expectations of NATO members of the European nations in the old days, can India’s economic, political and knowledge clout in the world turn US into a potential adversary, can India successfully resist the unwarranted pressures and advises from the US in strategic areas of India’s interests and how long, or lastly, is India’s self-believed, self-portrayed and perceived role and status in global affairs an engineering of the US and like-minded nations and actors, are some of the questions, which the Indian and US foreign policy makers are ought to face in real sense of the term.Ms. Manika Jain, Director, ICWA, New Delhi, stressed on the expanding interests and growth in partnership that the Obama visit fostered. From a diplomat’s view point she emphasized that the initiative undertaken in the arenas of food security, technology sharing and energy are indeed commendable but she lamented that a lot remained to be achieved in India’s bilateral negotiations with Pakistan as far as the question of terrorism was concerned.

A nuclear scientist and academician Prof. Paranjape from the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar spoke on the prospects of growth in the energy sector specifically of the nuclear kind. He emphasized that the import of enriched Uranium under the auspices of the 123 agreement took India closer to achieving her third stage in her Nuclear program with special regard to the fast breeder technology.

Prof. Anand Mavalavkar and Prof. Amit Dholakia, who are both professors of international relations at the MS University, Baroda, spoke on terrorism and good governance respectively. Prof. Mavlankar noted that given Pakistan’s domestic situation and array of internal problems, India’s reaction towards Pakistan should steer clear of being overtly aggressive with a view of protecting our own national interests, while Prof. Dholakia opined that certain essentials of good governance like transparency, participation of stake holders, responsiveness and effectiveness of institutions, accountability, equity  and the rule of law would serve the two nations well in developing a model of good governance locally and globally and lay the tomb stone on menaces such as corruption and money laundering.

Dr. William Nunes, convener of the Centre of Foreign Policy and Security Studies spoke on the need for bettering the health services by way of collaboration with universities and medical research institutes. He was quoted to have said that ‘Health Diplomacy’ can increase the involvement of key international partners in the global response to health problems.

The seminar concluded with the resolve to foster greater co-operation in the international circuit and lauded on the role needed to be played by emerging powers and the developed world alike within the peripheries of the United Nations.

Last Updated : 01-08-2014