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RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- RAISINA DIALOGUE

RSTV


Introduction:

The 6th Edition of the prestigious Raisina Dialogue started on Tuesday. Due to the ongoing Covid Pandemic, this edition is being held virtually from 13-16 April, 2021. The theme for the 2021 Edition is “ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control”.

Raisina Dialogue:

  • This is an annual geo-political event, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
  • It is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world.
  • It is predicated on India’s vital role in the Indian Ocean Region and how India along with its partners can build a stable regional and world order.
  • The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
  • Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.
  • The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics.
  • This year’s Dialogue titled ‘Navigating the Alpha Century’ is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of states, cabinet ministers and local government officials as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics
  • The three-day conclave started on 14thJanuary and ended on 16th January in New Delhi. It brought together 700 international participants out of which 40 per cent of the speakers were women, emphasizing India’s commitment to gender equality.

Participants:

The conference is a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral meeting involving policy and decision-makers, including but not limited to Foreign, Defence and Finance Ministers of different countries, high-level government officials and policy practitioners, leading personalities from business and industry, and members of the strategic community, media and academia.

Significance:

  • The Raisina Dialogue was born in 2016, in the belief that the Asian century that the world was talking about was not about any exclusive geographical region.
  • It was rather about the engagement of global actors with Asia and of Asia with the world.
  • So this dialogue took birth as a platform, where the old and the new could work together, to discover their connections, their inter-dependence.

Raisina Dialogue 2016:

  • The first Raisina Dialogue was held from March 1–3, 2016.
  • Over 100 speakers from over 35 countries attended to speak on the theme, “Asia: Regional and Global Connectivity”.
  • The focus of the 2016 conference was on Asia’s physical, economic, human and digital connectivity.
  • Panels and discussions explored opportunities and challenges for the region to manage its common spaces, as well as the global partnerships needed to develop common pathways in this century.

Raisina Dialogue 2017:

  • In 2017, The Dialogue was held from January 17–19. Held on a larger scale, the conference welcomed over 120 speakers from 65 countries and upwards of 800 participants.
  • Attendees discussed the theme, “The New Normal: Multilateralism with Multipolarity”.
  • The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the 2017 edition of the Raisina Dialogue.
  • Other eminent speakers included the former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai; the former Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper; Nepal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prakash Shara Mahat; the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson; the Diplomatic Adviser to the President of France, Jacques Audibert; the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Europe and Africa, Admiral Michelle Howard; the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, Jr.; and the Indian Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat.

Raisina Dialogue 2018:

  • The third edition of The Raisina Dialogue was held at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave in New Delhi, India from January 16–18, 2018.
  • The theme for the 2018 Conference is “Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms”.
  • This theme is designed to explore the shifting dynamics within the global order; where old relationships need new directions, emerging partnerships face unprecedented constraints and the notions of power and sovereignty are challenged.
  • The Dialogue will foster discussion on the role of institutions, the possibility of collective action and successful responses to these modern developments.

India hopes to achieve:

  • Raisina has been successful in drawing participants from countries that are at odds with each other — US, China, Russia, Iran and the Gulf Arabs.
  • Beyond political leaders and government officials, it also drew technology leaders, media personalities and policy wonks from around the world, providing Delhi an opportunity to lay out its position on controversial moves in Kashmir and on citizenship.
  • More broadly, Raisina is facilitating the development of sustainable intellectual networks between the Indian strategic community and its counterparts in the world.
  • Raisina emerged out of a recognition five years ago that Delhi did not have effective international platforms of its own despite the globalisation of India’s economy — trade now contributes nearly 40 per cent of India’s GDP.
  • India is at once more influential in world affairs as well as more susceptible to external developments. But its policy discourse appeared stuck in the past.
  • Raisina was part of the strategy to recalibrate that discourse and discard the traditional bureaucratic pretence that the government knows best.

Conclusion:

Indian foreign policy seeks to achieve a focus on key challenges, a broad engagement with many parties and managing, if not leveraging, global contradictions. Advancing the interests in a multi-polar world and contributing to global good is what it is all about. Raisina dialogue is a good forum to advance the goals of India’s foreign policy.