3:30 — 4:00 p.m. | Post-COVID Think Tanking: Preparing for a New World
COVID-19 has proved an existential moment for think tanks. While some have weathered the storm on an even keel given the public need for expertise in a time of crisis, others have suffered because of funding and other myriad challenges. All have grappled with the challenges of informing public debate and maintaining relevance as traditional channels of disseminating findings and research have been hit while disinformation has been rampant. What does the future hold for these bastions of civil society? How was COVID-19 impacting a think tanks role in the world? What do think tanks need to do to survive and thrive in a post COVID world? What skills and strategies will be most essential?
Keynote address | Amitabh Kant
Welcome interventions | James G. McGann, Samir Saran
Moderator | Harsh V. Pant
4:00 — 4:15 p.m. | Break
4:15 — 5:15 p.m. | China and the Indo-Pacific: Managing the Tensions and Transitions
The rise of China has forced a wide-ranging recalibration of economic and security policy in the Indo-Pacific. As regional capitals scramble to put together a coherent foreign policy response to these changes, tensions threaten to spill over into conflict. As such, managing tensions and building mechanisms to defuse potential conflicts are the need of the hour. This session will delve into the specifics of how such mechanisms can be built. Given the stark differences in foreign policy interests and ideologies between great powers in the region, is conflict inevitable? If not, how can regional capitals work together to manage conflict?
Speakers | Ganeshan Wignaraja, Ruhee Neog, Seshadri Vasan Ramaswamy Iyengar
Moderator | Antara Ghosal Singh
5:15 — 5:45 p.m. | Break
5:45 — 6:45 p.m. | Thematic Plenary | Global Health and Global Politics: Bringing the Two Together
The COVID-19 pandemic has systematically brought out the interdependence between global health and politics as the need to broaden the scope of domestic and foreign policy has been exemplified. Global health is interconnected with trade, economic growth, social development, and national security. The deepening interlinkage between global health and global politics serves as a catalyst in ensuring the safety of both public and national health. This session aims to highlight the interdependency between the two and address how Global Health has now become an issue of high politics like the environmental issues in the late twentieth century. Would the future FTAs and other bilateral agreements specifically focus on cooperation in the public and global health sector? Can global health follow a similar trajectory as that of the environment with regards to its urgency in contemporary geopolitics?
Speakers | Jyoti Parikh, Subodh Kandamuthan, Pavan Srinath
Moderator | Indira Hirway
6:45 — 7:15 p.m. | Break
7:15 — 8:15 p.m. | Thematic Plenary | Post-COVID 3Rs: Renaissance, Resilience, and Redevelopment
The hopes of returning to normalcy during the pre-COVID-19 era is replaced with acclimatising and learning from the pandemic. The Post COVID19 world focuses on Renaissance, Resilience and Redevelopment (3Rs) as they lie at the cornerstone of a new envisioned future. The shift away from the pandemic marks a beginning of a new era where 3Rs constitute in the society to ensure the planet is well-prepared for any future pandemic. This session focuses on the need for resilience in our societies followed by the urgency demanded by the pandemic in redevelopment of our infrastructure to alleviate socioeconomic consequences. Which sectors are in the dire need of redevelopment in the post COVID world? How can civil society reinforce resilience in society?
Speakers | Yamini Aiyar, Promod Jaiswal, Purvaja Modak
Moderator | Bharath Palavalli
8:15 — 8:30 p.m. | Break
8:30 — 9:30 p.m. | Concluding Session | Being Fit for the Future Is Being Agile, Adaptive and Engaged
The concluding session emphasises on the lessons learnt across various disciplines during the pandemic and what are the steps necessitated to ensure a safe, secure, and sustainable future. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught innumerable lessons to humanity hence the growing need to learn and avoid the recurring mistakes remains a key priority for the policymakers around the world. What are some key lessons learnt from the pandemic and how can we act on the same? How can the think-tank world adapt to the new realities?
Speakers | Maj General Bipin Bakshi and Neelam Deo
Moderator | Harsh V. Pant and Jim McGann