2nd India-Australia 1.5 Dialogue on 'Realizing the India-Australia Vision for Partnership and Prosperity'

October 17, 2013
Event: 
Round Table
Type: 
Only by Invitation
Time: 
0900 - 1800 hrs

Programme

9.00 – 9.30 am: Registration

9.30-10.00 am: Inaugural Session

  • Welcome address by Dr Arvind Gupta, DG, IDSA
  • Address by Admiral Christopher Barrie, AC RAN Retired, Adjunct Professor, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.
  • Address by Shri Sanjay Bhattacharyya, JS (South) MEA, Government of India.

10.00-11.30 am: Session 1: Emerging Strategic Equations in The Asia-Pacific

The session would cover the Security Architecture, Implications of the US ‘Rebalancing’ Policy and prospects for the IOR-ARC.
Moderator: Amb. Leela K. Ponappa, Former Deputy National Security Advisor & Secretary NSCS
Panelists:

  • Prof SD Muni, Distinguished Fellow IDSA
  • Prof. Sandy Gordon Visiting Fellow, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National Univ.

Discussion

11.30-1.00 pm: Session 2: Reimagining the Region: ‘Asia Pacific’ or ‘Indo-Pacific’?

Is ‘Indo-Pacific’ a viable concept? How does it differ from ‘Asia-Pacific’?
Moderator: Amb. HK Singh, ICRIER Wadhwani Chair in India-US Policy Studies at ICRIER, and former Ambassador to Indonesia, and Japan.
Panelists:

  • Cdr Abhijit Singh, Research Fellow, IDSA
  • Dr Sheridan Kearnan, Assistant Secretary, International Policy Division, Department of Defence, Australia.

Discussion

1.00-2.00 pm Lunch

2.00-3.30 pm: Session 3: Non-Traditional Security Challenges: (Environment, Food and Water)

What is the salience of Non-Traditional Security challenges in the emerging security architecture in the Asia-Pacific? How can these issues be addressed?
Moderator: Dr Arvind Gupta, DG, IDSA
Panelists:

  • Col. PK Gautam, Research Fellow, IDSA
  • Mr Leighton Luke, Manager, Future Directions International, Australia.

Discussion

3.30-3.45 pm Tea

3.45-5.15 pm - Session 4: Emerging Regional Defence Outlook

The session will review the Developments in defence doctrine and Capabilities of major defence forces in the Region including the US and China.
Moderator: Brig Rumel Dahiya, DDG, IDSA
Panelists:

  • Col. Vijai Singh Rana, Research Fellow, IDSA
  • Dr David Brewster, Visiting Fellow, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.

Discussion

5.15-6.00 pm: Session 5: India-Australia Dialogue: The Way Forward

This session will discuss the prospects of cooperation between the two institutions.

  • Dr Arvind Gupta
  • Admiral Christopher Barrie

Concept Note

The first round of India-Australia 1.5 Dialogue was conducted in Perth, Australia on July 19-20, 2012. The themes covered during that dialogue included Indian and Australian policies for the region; major powers (US and China) policies in the region; regional architecture; maritime security in the region and future challenges including food and water. With this and the then Australian PM’s visit to India forming an important backdrop, the 2nd India-Australia 1.5 Dialogue in New Delhi provides a suitable opportunity to carry forward the ideas set forth in the 1st Dialogue held in 2012.

In the past year a series of developments have brought Asia-Pacific into prominence. The region has been marked by transformative economic and strategic changes. The rise of Asia (especially China and India) provides an opportunity, and the rapidly changing strategic landscape, equally throws a challenge. For instance, China is Australia’s largest trading partner and the economic transformation of China could have far reaching strategic implications too. In October 2012 then PM Julia Gillard paid a visit to India. Australia has lifted the export ban on uranium. The Nuclear Suppliers Group had waived a three decade ban on exports to India. Considering India’s growing economic and strategic interests in engaging its maritime neighbours, it is vital that India works with Australia. Nuclear trade between the two countries is equally important as Australia commands around 40 per cent of the world’s total uranium resources. Nuclear cooperation would certainly help India meet its energy requirements — 800,000 MW of energy is needed by 2032 and fossil fuel will not be sufficient. In the absence of assured supply of uranium, India’s energy generation will increasingly become carbon emitting. Australia could contribute to environment protection through uranium supply to India. Given Australia’s growing strategic and economic importance, India needs to create a more robust relationship. There is tremendous scope for cooperation in agriculture, ocean technology and other such areas. Likewise, Australia too could reap the benefits of engaging India in economic, strategic and diplomatic terms.

India and Australia are well placed to play a role in the region. The Australian government released a series of papers- including the Defence White Paper, Australia in the Asian Century White Paper and a National Security Strategy- which lay out Australia’s engagement with Asia, with special reference to India. In the strategic realm, unprecedented rise of China has certainly posed numerous challenges to countries of the region, to which India and Australia are no exceptions. Uncertainties posed by China’s rise have played a role in India and Australia’s changing perceptions of the twenty-first century global politics. Though India and Australia are not keen, perhaps not equipped enough, in balancing China in the region, both have been trying to hedge against the challenges posed by China’s rise.

India’s economic reforms and opening up to the East Asian and the Asia- Pacific region through its Look East policy in the 1990s opened up new vistas for India- Australia engagement. The Look East policy, particularly the Phase two, led to India’s greater engagement with Australia. In fact, in the last decade, India-Australia ties have improved significantly, which is evident from quantum jumps in bilateral trade volumes, military-to-military engagements, greater outflow of Indian students to Australia, and more importantly- the India- Australia nuclear commerce. The US has certainly played a key role in bringing the two democracies closer. India’s improved ties with the US have influenced Australia’s perception of India’s role in the regional and global politics. India’s economic growth and rise of its middle class have offered numerous business opportunities to Australia, which seems well equipped in seizing the opportunity of engaging India. Australia is actively working on devising better ways to engage Asia and its major stake-holders including India.

The current round of Track 1.5 Dialogue intends to bring together Indian and Australian perspectives on the Emerging Strategic Equations in the Asia-Pacific (including the Security Architecture; Implications of US ‘Rebalancing’ Policy; and Prospects for the IOR-ARC); Re-imagining the Region: ‘Asia-Pacific’ or ‘Indo-Pacific’?; Non-Traditional Security Challenges (Environment, Food and Water); Emerging Regional Defence Outlook; and in conclusion, India-Australia Dialogue: The Way Forward.

Contact Conference Coordinator Dr. Udai Bhanu Singh email udaibhanusingh@hotmail.com