Welcome Address by the Director General, Dr Arvind Gupta at the 48th Foundation Day of the IDSA, 10 November 2012
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  • November 10, 2012

    Event: 48th Foundation Day of the IDSA

    Hon President, Raksha Mantri ji,
    Members of the EC,
    IDSA Scholars,
    Esteemed members of the Strategic Community,
    It is a great privilege and honour to welcome you to the 48th Foundation Day of the IDSA. Please accept my warm felicitations.

    I also take this opportunity to extend greetings on the eve of Deepawali, the Great Indian Festival of light, hope, peace & prosperity.

    In the aftermath of the 1962 and 1965 wars, the IDSA was set up as an Institute to promote the culture of strategic thinking in the country. In its journey of 48 years, the vision of the founders to see the Institute grow as a premier think tank has been realised substantially. This is reflected in the growing international and national recognition of the institute. The IDSA is now a well known name among the strategic community.

    There are many in the audience who have been associated with the growth of the institute and made tremendous contribution to its development. They and the scholars and experts working at the institute deserve special thanks for this.

    The IDSA has also helped in the growth of the wider strategic community in the country. Many of the leading lights of the strategic community were groomed in the IDSA. Many have reached great heights in their respective professions.

    Over the years, the Institute’s publications and its flagship journal Strategic Analysis reflect the intense debates that have gone on in the country on issues of national importance. The Institute’s scholars have enriched these debates.

    The Government has provided the IDSA with un-stinted support over the years. This is an important factor in the IDSA’s growth. The Institute has been funded generously by the government. But it has maintained its objectivity and independence in matters of research. This has greatly helped the Institute to emerge as a serious and credible think tank.

    The importance of think tanks in shaping public policy debates, in anticipating and analysing the shifting geo-strategic landscape, is growing. As India’s profile in the world grows, so does the importance of think tanks. India needs several world class think tanks. The vibrancy of strategic community is often judged by the number of think tanks, the quality of their research, and their external outreach. The IDSA has made notable contribution in these areas.

    Policymakers are beginning to realise the benefit of engaging with the strategic community. Likewise, thinktanks are also focusing on policy issues. This is a healthy sign. The think tanks are ideas factories. They should be encouraged to think innovatively and constructively. The need for declassification of old documents is vital for a well informed policy debate. The government has taken some steps in this direction but much more needs to be done. IDSA researchers have articulated the importance of declassification from time to time.

    As you are aware, every year, an independent jury selects an eminent strategic affairs expert for the conferment of K Subrahmanyam Award. An independent jury of renowned experts has chosen Prof Kanti Bajpai, who is well known in India & internationally, for conferment of this year’s Award. We extend our felicitations to him. The President of IDSA will confer this year’s Award on him.

    This year’s President Award for publication in an international journal of repute goes to Dr. Laxman Behera, Associate Fellow at the IDSA. He could not be present today. Gp. Capt. Vinay Kaushal will receive the award on his behalf.

    You have been a pillar of support for the Institute. The institute carries out its activities under your counsel and the guidance of the EC.

    We are most grateful to you for agreeing to deliver today’s Foundation Day address despite your busy schedule.

    We look forward to the continued growth of the IDSA to newer heights.

    Thank you and Jai Hind.