Think tanks devoted to South Asia
Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, India
General information: The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) was established in August 1996 as an independent think tank devoted to studying security issues relating to South Asia. Over the years leading strategic thinkers, academicians, former members of the Civil Services, Foreign Services, Armed Forces, Police Forces, Paramilitary Forces and media persons (print and electronic) have been associated with the Institute in its endeavour to chalk out a comprehensive framework for security studies – one which can cater to the changing demands of national, regional and global security. The Executive Committee, which is currently headed by a member of the National Security Advisory Board, reflects this essential mix of experience and expertise. The Institute maintains close liaison with the Indian Ministries of Defence and External Affairs.
IPCS covers issues, military and non-military, on a wide spectrum ranging from Kashmir and Afghanistan to terrorism, drug trafficking and naxal violence. A special project deals with weapons of mass destruction, offering comprehensive news analysis and reference on the issue at a WMD web portal that is updated daily. News, views and references relating to terrorist related incidents and events in South Asia are also given.
Currently, the Institute focuses on the following research subjects, and looks forward to expanding this list in the coming years:
• Nuclear Issues; • Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka; • Pakistan; • China and East Asia; • Kashmir; • South East Asia.
Web page: http://www.ipcs.org/
Strategic Foresight Group, Mumbai, India
General information: This think tank is based at Mumbai, India, but includes members from all around South Asia. It was launched as an independent interdisciplinary think-tank to develop alternative future scenarios of the strategic environment of countries and sectors, with a view to enable decision makers to consider alternative strategies for the future. Currently the group focuses on South Asia, the region most affected by the war on terror.
The people behind the group have extensive research and practical experience in South Asia. The group has an alliance with International Centre for Peace Initiatives, the region’s pioneering institution in track two diplomacy and conflict management, and Initiatives, an effective policy change organisation. Strategic Foresight Group will gradually expand the scope of its work to cover other parts of Asia.
Members include: Strategic Foresight Group was founded by Sundeep Waslekar, who now acts as its President. He is specialized on Governance, conflicts, global and regional security, political economy, and political philosophy.
Within the team are also found Senior Advisor Shrikant Menjoge (Specialization: Indian economy, conflict resolution, north-east India, industrial relations); Leena Pillai (Specialization: Indian economy, Pakistani economy and polity; international relations); Nidhi Narain (Specialization:International relations, confidence-building measures, security issues, peace and conflict studies, South Asia); Gausia Tasneem (Specialization: Internal dynamics of Pakistan, Afghanistan and West Asia; radical Islamic movements; conflicts; international relations); Zarin Hussain (Specialization: Pakistani politics and society, Urdu Education; Humayunfer Hussain (Specialization: Internal dynamics of Pakistan and Arab countries ); Prakash Chander (Specialization: Sindh province of Pakistan); Ilmas Futehally, Vice President, SFG; Executive Director, ICPI (Specialization: South Asia, conflict resolution, confidence-building measures, governance); and Semu Bhatt, Special Assistant to President.
Publications: The Strategic Foresight Group publishes reports regularly. In 2003 a new report called ”Shifting Sands: Instability in Undefined Asia” has been published. It deals with the internal dynamics of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia since the war on terror was launched in 2001.
Previously reports have been published on the following issues:
• The Future of Pakistan (2002)
• Reshaping the Agenda in Kashmir (2002)
• Kashmir: A Way Forward (2000)
Web page: http://www.strategicforesight.com/
South Asia Analysis Group, SAAG, Noida, India
SAAG based at Noida, India, has an ambition to advance strategic analysis on foreign policy and national security issues. SAAG consists partly of retired Indian Government officers, and regularly present papers on current issues.
Web page: http://www.saag.org/
Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, India
Established in 1965, and considered to be the premier strategic and security studies Think Tank in India.
Web page: http://www.idsa.in/
SAPRA India Foundation, New Delhi, India
SAPRA (Security & Political Risk Analysis) is a not for profit, think tank which focuses on peace & conflict studies, political risk, terrorism and security related issues pertinent to the Southern Asian context. SAPRA India looks at all of these from an ”Indian point” of view. Specifically, it analyses trends, events or findings in the military, external, political and economic fronts that could impact on India at the strategic level.
Web page: http://www.subcontinent.com/sapra/
Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Colombo, Sri Lanka
Independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization for collaborative research, networking and interaction on strategic and international issues pertaining to South Asia. The main objectives of the Centre are to:
• provide a centre for studies and research in South Asian Strategic Studies.
• sponsor and coordinate such research on strategic and security related issues;
• promote interaction among scholars and other professionals in this region and beyond engaged in South Asian strategic and international studies; and
• foster linkage and collaboration between institutions devoted to studies on issues related to conflict, conflict resolution, cooperation, stability and security in South Asia.
Web page: http://www.rcss.org/