Kautilya Fellows Programme 2020 was organized by India Foundation in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs from 26th January till 3rd February 2020 in New Delhi, India. India Foundation is an independent research centre focused on the issues, challenges and opportunities of the Indian polity.
Being a Kautaliya Fellow, Ruwanthi Jayasekara from INSSSL was privileged to attend the 3rd Edition of Kautilya Fellows Programme along with other delegates from Canada, Nepal, India, United States of America, China, Singapore, Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, Bangladesh, Australia and Jordan etc. There were a series of lectures on Development of India’s Foreign Policy, India’s Contemporary Security Challenges, India’s Soft Power Diplomacy, India’s Trade and Defence Agreements, Indian Federalism and Democracy etc. that were conducted by distinguished scholars, diplomats and politicians. Among them were Dr. S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India; Shri Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); Shri Alok Bansal, Director, India Foundation and Ms. Prabha Rao, Distinguished Scholar, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) etc.
The programme also shed some light on India’s soft power interests, strategic relations with Indo-Pacific region, ASEAN members, Central Asia, Middle East and European Union etc. Apart from lectures, a visit was arranged to the foreign policy labs, where delegated had the opportunity to take part in interactive sessions on climate change, International organizations (IGO). A field visit arranged to Kurukshetra gave the opportunity for the delegates to gather a broad understanding of the significance of Indian history, culture and religion.