Virtual ThinkTalk: India and the Gulf Cooperation Council – Developing Strategic Relations for the 21st Century

Virtual ThinkTalk: India and the Gulf Cooperation Council – Developing Strategic Relations for the 21st Century

The first Virtual ThinkTalks of 2021 kicked off on Tuesday 23rd February, with a discussion on, “India and the Gulf Cooperation Council – Developing Strategic Relations”. Since the previous decade, the Arabian Gulf has adopted a “Look East” policy that aims to diversify strategic relations. Undoubtedly, India’s growing international role makes it a viable strategic partner that already has strong relations with the GCC. The webinar discussed current and future Arab Gulf-Indian relations.


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Dr. P. K. Pradhan
Associate Fellow, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), India

Dr. Prasanta Kumar Pradhan is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Manohar Parrikar Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. He holds a doctorate degree from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Since joining IDSA in 2008, he has been researching on foreign policy, security and strategic issues in West Asia, and India’s relationship with West Asia and the wider Arab world. He is also working on the implications of Arab uprisings for the region and India.

Dr. Pradhan is the author of the book Arab Spring and Sectarian Faultlines in West Asia: Bahrain, Yemen and Syria (Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2017) and the monograph India’s Relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council: Need to Look beyond Business (IDSA, New Delhi, 2014). He is also the editor of the book Geopolitical Shifts in West Asia: Trends and Implications (Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2016).

Dr. Pradhan has published several research articles in reputed journals and has contributed chapters to several edited volumes on security and strategic issues in West Asia and India’s bilateral relations with the region. His current research project is titled “The GCC in Crisis: Implications for the Region and India”.

Dr. N. Janardhan
Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme, Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, UAE

Dr N. Janardhan is Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme, at the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy. With nearly 25 years of regional expertise, he analyses and unravels the evolving multi-dimensional partnerships between the countries of the Gulf and Asia. In addition, he offers diplomats a MA course on Asian foreign policies. His broad-based interests span politics, international relations, security, media, migration and human trafficking.

His academic publications include ‘The Arab Gulf’s Pivot to Asia: From Transactional to Strategic Partnerships (ed., Gerlach, 2020); ‘A New Gulf Security Architecture: Prospects and Challenges for an Asian Role’ (ed., Gerlach, 2014); ‘India and the Gulf: What Next?’ (ed., Gulf Research Center Cambridge, 2013); and ‘Boom amid Gloom: Spirit of Possibility in the 21st Century Gulf’ (Ithaca, 2011).

Dr Janardhan is Managing Assistant Editor of the ‘Journal of Arabian Studies’ (Routledge).
In his previous stints, he has served as a political analyst in government and private institutions in the United Arab Emirates – the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, the Gulf Research Center and ‘The Gulf Today’ – and ‘The Asian Age’ in India.

With a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Dr Janardhan is a frequent speaker at conferences and contributes regularly to various think tanks and media outlets in Asia, Europe and the United States.

He is also an avid sportsperson!

Mahmood Abdulghaffar Analyst

Mahmood Abdul Ghaffar

Research Associate, Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat)

Mahmood is a Research Associate with the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) since September 2011 and currently works in the Strategic and International Studies Department. Mahmood’s research interests include international geopolitics, Arab Gulf-China relations, Middle East regional security and Arab Gulf-Sino relations. He completed the First Deputy Prime Minister Fellowship Program in 2017. Mahmood previously worked as an intern with the United Nations Development Program and Ernst & Young. He has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Sharjah, UAE, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the American University in Washington DC.

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