Experts discuss issues topical to South Asia

Experts discuss issues topical to South Asia

New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) Several noted policymakers, bureaucrats, academicians, and journalists from different spheres came together at the second edition of Oxford University Press’ South Asia Conclave, debating on the recent developments in South Asia and its significant positioning in geopolitics.

The conclave, held Wednesday here, closely examined the key issues affecting Indian politics, ideology and identity, business and politics, political finance, civil-military relations, and healthcare policy.

The first session focused on “politics of Ideology and Identity; the role of western notion and the rise of social conservation”.”

Pradeep K. Chhibber and Rahul Verma’s book “Ideology and Identity: The changing party systems of India” formed the basis of the discussion. Other speakers included Kanchan Chandra, Professor, New York University, Abu Dhabi; Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament, RajyaSabha; Neelanjan Sircar, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research. The session was moderated by Ashutosh Varshney, Professor, Brown University.

The speakers debated how the ideology and patronage in the Indian political system should be more connected rather than the sharp divide that we see today.

The second session revolved around the Civil Military effectiveness of India. Discussion, based on the book “The Absent Dialogue: Civil-Military Relations in India”, by Anit Mukherjee, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, was largely centered towards the India’s civil-military relations and how the relationship is rather dysfunctional.

The third session on State of Healthcare in India was moderated by Amrita Tripathi, Author and Founder-Editor, The Health Collective.

The session focussed on how despite India being one of the fastest growing countries in the world, it has been debated that the same progress has not been extended to its public health sector. In contrast to developed countries such as the United States, where health policies hold significance in electoral politics, healthcare in India is not a constituent concern, leading to an abysmally low government investment in the sector.

The speakers of the session titled “Costs of Democracy: Political Finance in India,” questioned why is it impossible to imagine elections without the flood of money in politics.

The last session on “Business and Politics in India” was moderated by Shekhar Gupta. The discussion also revolved around criticism of media today being applied to TV and not print.

The conference was chaired by Ashutosh Varshney, Professor, Brown University, and co-chaired by Pradeep Chhibber, Director, Institute of International Studies.

Following its successful launch in 2017, the second edition of the South Asia Conclave became a major platform to talk about issues pertaining to South Asia, aimed at developing a deeper understanding.

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

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