Former External Affair Secretary Amb. Sudhir Devare addresses Tezpur University
Ambassador Sudhir T Devare, Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs and a former Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India delivered a Lecture on “India’s Look East Policy vis- a –vis the North East : Issues and Concerns” at the Kalaguru Bishni Prasad Rabha Auditorium of Tezpur University yesterday, August 27. The lecture was organized under the aegis of the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs as one in the Distinguished Lecture Series being initiated by the Division from this year. Speaking to a packed audience of the students, research scholars, faculty members and other dignitaries, Ambassador Devare dwelt upon the genesis of the Look East Policy and its ramifications and implications in the broader context of the new global economic realities and the perspective of the north east. While tracing the origin of the Look East policy in the 1994, Mr. Devare pointed out that India has been historically involved with providing global and regional leadership right from the years following our independence as witnessed in the pivotal role played by India in the Non Aligned Movement. Referring to the aspects of foreign policy dynamics and its evolution with the changing geopolitical developments, Mr. Devare pointed out to the post Soviet Russia disintegration shifts in global geopolitics and its consequences.
The strategic importance of the north east India against the backdrop of the fast developing economic and political scenario in the South East Asia- including Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam, and China, the eminent diplomat highlighted the importance of India’s proactive role in forwarding the country’s economic advantage. While agreeing to the genuine feeling of concern that there is little perceptible and tangible achievements in all these years on furthering the issue of Look East policy, he emphasized upon the need for constant dialogue with these countries at the people to people level as well, taking advantage of the common socio- cultural milieu of these countries. Deliberating on the much hyped Asian Highway project connecting India with Singapore through Myanmar, the Ambassador highlighted upon the great potential implicit in the project. Mr. Devare also pointed out at the new perceptions in security concepts- apart from the traditional military perspectives and pointed out towards the need for strategies within the policy frame work to address the issues of ecological security, terrorism and trafficking of drugs and narcotics.
The lecture organized under the Distinguished Lecture Series programme of the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of external Affairs, is an initiative with an objective of promoting a greater understanding of India’s position on key foreign policy issues and encourages a greater interest in global issues and to contribute to a more informed discourse on them. Professor Amarjyoti Choudhury, Pro Vice Chancellor, Tezpur University while extending a warm welcome to the seasoned diplomat Mr. Devare, appreciated the initiatives of the Ministry of External Affairs. Mr. Devare who is the Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs promised to extend all help on the proposal that the Ministry may come forward in establishing a Centre for the study of India’s Look East Policy at Tezpur University.