Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category

2
Dec

The subtle voice of intelligence

Written on December 2, 2016 by Susana Torres Prieto in Conference, IE University

11428Dileep Padgaonkar, former editor of The Times of India, passed away in Pune last Friday November 25th.

Dileep was our guest in Segovia during the last Hay Festival and during his conversation he could expose his particular view of India’s current challenges in view of the changes undergone by the country in recent decades. For someone who has been on the forefront of journalism for more than four decades, it might seem something easy to do. But Dileep not only had a special talent to see the dots between questions that most of us missed, and formulated the most poignant questions, he also had the special charm of someone who is equally comfortable, and competent, discussing the future of the Congress Party in India and the nature of love and sexual drive in both Western and Eastern literary traditions.

His exquisite education, by Jesuits, as he liked to point out, his many years spent abroad and his witnessing the second half of the last century, with its many lights and shadows, gave him a rare capacity for understanding the many depths of the human soul. He was a delight to listen to, he was a breadth of fresh air mixed with calmed wisdom, he was the West and the East in one (a clear proof that intelligence does not know any geographical borders). And he will be much missed.

28
Nov

img_9270On Thursday November 24th the IE Humanities Center hosted the second conference of the Cycle India: Present and Future, focusing this time on the subject of politics, under the title “Politics: the Largest Democracy”. This event was dedicated to the complex Indian political reality and the discussion panel included IE University’s IR Professor Babita Bhatt, Universidad Complutense’s Professor and expert on India Eva Borreguero and IE’s IR Academic Director Daniel Kselman, who acted as moderator.

Professor Kselman introduced the conversation speaking about the incredible diversity of India, a country with more than a billion people and 22 official languages and remembering how this “diversity in democracy” was thought impossible to survive at the time of its independence as, for example, Britain thought it was rather a civilization than a nation. However, as professor Kselman said “the diversity glues the country as they need one another” specially after configuring a multi party system, despite the different interests of state-level democracies, as well as national and regional parties, which has contributed to a progressive institutionalization of democracy.

img_9272Professor Bhatt started the discussion on the first thematic block of the event focused on domestic policies of India, centered on the two parties that have ruled India since the independence, namely, the Indian National Congress (I.N.C.) and Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P). After explaining the common view of each of them (I.N.C. is considered a dynastic party of the Nehru-Gandhi family and B.J.P. a pro Hinduist nationalist party), it was inevitable to talk about current Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. Professor Bhatt gave an exhaustive description of the controversial figure, often compared to Trump or Putin and of his intention to project an image of a C.E.O rather than a politician, of an honest man who is an example of social promotion (he comes from a humble background), dedicated to his country (a single man whose only concern is the welfare of the Indians) with a successful record (as governor of Gujarat he got its economy increased by double figures during his term in office). The panel then analysed his two years in office and the recent issue of the demonetization and how could it affect the average citizen as well as politics in terms of party funding.

The second block was dedicated to India’s foreign affairs and its capacity to equate its economic position with its international influence. Professor Borreguero was quite clear India in expressing that “India has too many internal problems to become a global player and too many img_9234differences with his neighbours” referring to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. The moderator ask both speakers on the lasting Pakistani-Indian Conflict on Kashmir. Both experts agreed that the more likely scenario was interspersed periods of tension and calm between the two nuclear powers, since an external enemy is always useful in domestic policy, and that an open conflict or a long lasting peace was quite a remote scenario.

As a conclusion, Prof. Borreguero insisted on the “elastic” capacity of the Indian democracy to face present and future challenges and Prof. Bhatt pointed out that maybe the biggest threat was the growing Indian middle-class who does not necessarily perceive democracy as a form of government leading to economic growth.

The moderator invited the audience to give their insights in all of these issues and the discussion was enriched by the comments of IE’s students.

30
May

IE International Relations Club proudly presents Skaiste Aniuliene, current Lithuanian Ambassador to Spain. Throughout her international career she held various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also was Lithuania’s consul general in Chicago. Before her appointment as ambassador to Spain, she was Ambassador-at-Large for the Community of Democracies and women’s issues. Skaiste Aniuliene will talk about Lithuania’s independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union and geopolitics in the Baltic region.

The conference will take place on May 31st, 04:30p, at Paper Pavilion (Serrano 99)

If you wish to attend please register here

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