Plan to identify pressing challenges Nepal, India relations
KAROBAR CORRESPONDENT
Sunday, Jul 29, 2018
766

Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Nehru Memorial Museum Library (NMML) are jointly organizing Nepal India Think Tank Summit (NITTS) on Tuesday. Former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is inaugurating the summit, where India’s ruling BJP Secretary General of Ram Madhav will deliver a key note speech. Nepal will for the first time address the need for greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among Nepali and Indian think tanks as well as the particular problem of bridging the gap between think tanks and policymakers in the region,” according to chief executive of AIDIA Sunil KC. Nepal Council of World Affairs (NCWA), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Nepal Economic Forum (NEF), Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), Observer Research Foundations (ORF), Institute for Défense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), Nepal Institute for Strategic Studies(NISS), Centre for International Security, Gateway House, Brookings India and Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS) are taking part in the summit that aims at supporting the networks and promote mutual understanding between the countries through institutional collaboration on resources sharing for joint events/publications among think-tanks of the two countries. KC talks in detail about the NITTS with Karobar National Economic Daily. Excerpts of the interview with KC:

What is Nepal India Think Tank Summit (NITTS) is about?
NITTS is a joint initiative by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Nehru Memorial Museum Library (NMML), which will be held on July 31, 2018 in Kathmandu. It will be a track 1.5 form of diplomacy. Nepal, as a nation, will for the first time address the need for greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among Nepali and Indian think tanks as well as the particular problem of bridging the gap between think tanks and policymakers.

Tell us about the Think Tanks participating in the summit?
A number of Think Tanks from Nepal and India will be a part of the Summit. Nepal Council of World Affairs (NCWA), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Nepal Economic Forum (NEF), Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), Observer Research Foundations (ORF), Institute for Défense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), Nepal Institute for Strategic Studies(NISS), Centre for International Security, Gateway House, Brookings India, South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS). We have tried to keep the panel vigorous by inviting a lot of different think tanks with different background so as to build a ground for healthy and holistic discussion.

Could you please shed light on speakers ?
I believe that our diversified Speakers Panel is one the success of the Summit, already. We have an aspiring and dynamic panel of speakers ranging from the Former PM Hon'ble Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the former Finance Minister of Government of Nepal Hon’ble Mr. Surendra Pandey. Mr. Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of the Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP) will also be joining us along with H.E. Manjeev Singh Puri, Ambassador of India to Nepal and more than 25 prominent distinguished speakers of respective field.

What is the aim of this summit?
The aim of NITTS is to support the networks and promote mutual understanding between the countries through institutional collaboration on resources sharing for joint events/publications among think-tanks of the two countries; to facilitate cooperation and knowledge-sharing among think tanks and to reflect on the work of think tanks and the challenges they are facing. The Summit aims at showcasing the importance of think tanks in transformation of Nepal and India relations. Participants from think-tanks, policy makers, government representatives, diplomatic missions, academicians, business sectors, media personnel will engage in open and rational discourse to draw the meaningful conclusions and recommendations.

What are the objectives of the summit?
The primary objective would be to enhance the bilateral relations between India and Nepal through multi-faceted collaboration among think-tanks in both the countries.

Could you expand on that? What will it explore?
Yes, amongst improving the bilateral relations, we also plan to encourage active collaboration on research, publication, sharing of information, human resource and finance to promote joint events between the participating think-tanks. We also hope to gain a better understanding of the organizational and policy challenges facing think tanks and policymakers in Nepal and India. We plan to identify the most pressing policy challenges and bilateral issues related to political, economic and security between Nepal and India in the current scenario and the ways to tackle these for promoting mutually inclusive bilateral relations.

What are your expectations from the summit?
We want to make the summit an an annual feature for the participating organizations and it will be hosted alternatively each year between Nepal and India. It will deal with important issues on Nepal and India ties and emerging issues in regional or international level will form the specific themes of the Summit each year.

Other than this, what are the other aspirations of AIDIA?
As an organization, we want to promote and provide an open platform for healthy debate and discussion by ensuring the different opinions and beliefs in the contemporary geopolitical and geo economic issues confronting the international community. We seek to do this by facilitating effective engagements of independent thinkers, subject experts, policy makers, business community, and media among others.