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Manipal Academy of Higher Education Is Hosting an International Conference in Association with Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung (KAS) on Indo-Pacific;

Manipal Academy of Higher Education Is Hosting an International Conference in Association with Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung (KAS) on Indo-Pacific; Garners Views of Experts on Regional Cooperation !

Chennai, 6 November 2023 – Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), in association with Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung (KAS), is hosting an international conference on India and EU in the Indo-Pacific: Strategies, Opportunities, and Challenges on 3rd and 4th November in Manipal, Udupi. The conference, organized by Manipal Centre for European Studies (MCES) and Department of Geopolitics and International Relations (DGIR), brings together academicians, diplomats, policy makers and researchers from India and Europe to deliberate on the role of India and the European Union (EU) in the changing geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. 

“The expansion of economic and technological cooperation between the EU and India is mutually beneficial. However, Europe needs to explain its ambivalence in its policy towards China”, said Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia. Delivering the keynote address after inaugurating an International Conference on India and EU in the Indo-Pacific in Manipal, he added, EU’s inclination to prioritize trade over security and strategy could pose difficulties in the future. He advocated the need for sustained deliberations on rules-based international order, maritime security, and potentials of sustainable development for mutually beneficial and deeper cooperation between EU and India. 

Prof M D Nalapat in his inaugural address echoed the thought: “In a way that benefits all our people, India and EU need to figure out a framework that creates successful collaborative networks.” He invoked the democratic ideals of Konrad Adenaeur, the first Chancellor of West Germany after the second World War, and stressed how such ideals are important in quelling predatory powers in this region.  

As a region that accounts for sixty percent of the GDP of the world, the Indo-Pacific has emerged as a site of contestation and has drawn the attention of the global community to reflect on the possibilities of multilateral initiatives, security arrangements, and strategic partnerships. The inaugural session set the stage for the two-day event for discussions on the possibilities of cooperation between India and EU in the Indo-Pacific region to balance trade-dominated relations with geoeconomic and strategic interests along with addressing issues of climate change, biodiversity conservation, and quality healthcare.  

The session was presided over by Vice Chancellor, MAHE, Lt Gen (Dr) M D Venkatesh, who observed the key role of universities to nurture and engage young minds to develop international relations and strategies. Fellow panellist, Ms Simran Dhingra, Head of International Cooperation at KAS, underscored the imperative to bolster India-EU ties on issues of maritime security, defence partnerships and counter-terrorism, especially since India is being increasingly perceived as a key actor in the Indian Ocean. Prof Neeta Inamdar, Head of Manipal Center for European Studies (MCES), welcomed the gathering and further remarked, “I hope cooperation becomes the intent of this conference, and we can all look forward to what we can change to make the world a better place”. Prof K P Vijayalakshmi, Head of DGIR, concluded the event with a vote of thanks.  

The conference hosts close to thirty delegates from across India and Europe. The sessions over the two days will deliberate on the strategic opportunities and challenges for improving regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific focusing on issues such as trade and connectivity, climate change, healthcare infrastructure, technological innovation and growth, maritime security, and educational and cultural cooperation.


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