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Three-day national seminar on 'Act East Policy of NDA II and Primary Goals: Economic Development, Democracy and National Security' organised in Mumbai
A national-level seminar on "Act East Policy of NDA II and Primary Goals: Economic Development, Democracy and National Security" was organized by VPM's Centre for International Studies, Mulund, Mumbai, on 27th April 2017. It was inaugurated by Shri Ram Madhav, National Secretary of BJP.

Come out of obsession with US and hyphenation with Pakistan and China: Ram Madhav

"We need to come out of our obsession with the US and hyphenation with Pakistan and China," said Shri Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of BJP on Thursday.

Shri Ram Madhav who was delivering the inaugural address of the three-day national seminar on "Act East Policy of NDA II and Primary Goals: Economic Development, Democracy and National Security" organized by VPM's Centre for International Studies, Mulund, Mumbai, on 27th April 2017, said that culture, commerce and connectivity are the 3 Cs that will be the main driving force in our engagement with the East.

He further added that the global power axis has shifted from the Pacific and Atlantic to Indo-Pacific region. It is not Asia-Pacific as called by the West, but we should call it 'Indo-Pacific'. The Indian Ocean witnesses 70 per cent of the world's cargo trade and many strong economies are located here. Moreover, it is also home to major military powers that include India and China. Thus, it is the most 'happening' region in the world.

According to Shri Madhav, India has to proactively established its importance and the centrality of the Indian Ocean in the global power equation.

Earlier, Dr PM Kamath, Chairman and Hon Director of CIS, while giving a low-down on the theme of the seminar, referred to the transformation of the erstwhile 'Look-East' policy of PV Narasimha Rao into 'Act-East' policy by NDA II and its relevance vis-a-vis the current turmoil in the South China Sea and the Korean peninsula. He also recollected a three-day seminar on the South China Sea conducted by VPM's CIS much before it became a moot point of contention in the global arena.

In his key-note address, Dr Chintamani Mahapatra, Rector and Professor, JNU, referred to the 'dynamic multi-culturalism' that is found in this region, and the gradual evolution of a 'cold confrontation' between China and the US. Lamenting that Indian national and foreign policies have become a political football, he suggested that we should avoid making India's foreign policy domesticated. Dr Mahapatra further recommended federalisation of the foreign policy so that individual states can establish and maintain their own relationships with other countries.

While delivering the presidential address, Ambassador AR Ghanashyam said that relationships between countries should be built on three levels: People to people, institution to institution and leadership to leadership. He commended the governing council of VPM's CIS for organizing the scholarly seminar on such an appropriate topic at the most appropriate time.

The seminar on the Act-East Policy began with a prayer song by Mrs Meenal and Mrs Kavita Sharma, Asst Professor, VPM's RZ Shah College, welcoming the guests and participants and elucidating the objectives of VPM's Centre for International Studies. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr (Mrs) Vasundhara Mohan, Hon Deputy Director of VPM's CIS.

Report by Dominic A

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