Amb. Rakesh Sood

Amb. Rakesh Sood

Course Curator

This first-of-its-kind course on India’s foreign policymaking is aimed at graduate students, researchers and mid-career professionals from India and abroad. This multi-module program will enable participants to critically analyse Indian foreign policy responses to current geopolitical trends informed by history, and empirical evidence. Led by seasoned practitioners, the course unpacks and clarifies the famously opaque institutional and bureaucratic mechanisms of India’s foreign policymaking.


  • Amb. Rakesh Sood

    Amb. Rakesh Sood

    Former Diplomat

    Ambassador Rakesh Sood, Course Curator, will lay down the learning objectives and vision of this course. 


  • Amb. TCA Raghavan

    Amb. TCA Raghavan

    Former Diplomat

    Amb. TCA Raghavan will explore the origins of India’s foreign policy apparatus. This session will analyze colonial sinews, inherited structures, and institutional predecessors of the MEA. It will focus on how India’s engagement with the international order and institutions shaped its foreign policy apparatus to explain the present structure of the MEA. In addition, key individuals and events that primarily shaped India’s foreign policy structures will be identified. 


  • Prof. Kanti Prasad Bajpai

    Prof. Kanti Prasad Bajpai

    Director, Centre on Asia and Globalisation and Wilmar Professor of Asian Studies

    Delivered by Prof. Kanti Bajpai, the primary objective of this session is to explore ideas that have endured in India’s foreign policy thinking. These ideas will include non-alignment, strategic autonomy, nuclear minimalism, civilian control over the military, strategic restraint, and directive principles of the Indian Constitution pertaining to foreign policy.

  • Amb. Vivek Katju

    Amb. Vivek Katju

    Former Diplomat

    In this session Ambassador Vivek Katju will examine the institutional apparatus of the MEA to understand its organizational framework. His lecture will cover the institutional mechanisms and bureaucratic processes that shape the MEA’s functioning today. He will explain how various divisions in the MEA interact with each other, with other foreign missions in India and will elaborate on the dynamics between these divisions and other branches of government such as PMO, R&AW and other Ministries (MOD, MOC, MOF, etc.).

  • Amb. Navtej Sarna

    Amb. Navtej Sarna

    Former Diplomat

    Amb. Sarna will discuss India’s diplomatic missions in other countries and representation at international institutions and forums, to explain their functions and highlight the mechanisms for diplomatic outreach and communications.

  • M K Narayanan

    M K Narayanan

    Former National Security Advisor

    In this conversational session, MK Narayanan will be interviewed by Amb. Rakesh Sood. Through incisive questions, this session will look at how India manages diplomatic crises. Two incidents/cases - The 2008 Mumbai Attack & The Sri Lankan Tamil Ethnic Crisis - will form the pivot of this conversation to make sense of successful de-escalation strategies, crisis communication, and inter-ministerial collaboration.


  • Adm. Arun Prakash

    Adm. Arun Prakash

    Former Chief of Naval Staff

    Admiral Arun Prakash will cover the military component of India’s diplomatic outreach and cooperation. His lecture will position military diplomacy within the context of India's foreign policy. He will discuss the impact of civil-military relations on military diplomacy, Navies as instruments of diplomacy, and the future of military diplomacy. The lecture will also discuss cases of India’s employment of military diplomacy in its neighbourhood.


  • Amb. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta

    Amb. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta

    Former Diplomat

    In this session, Amb. Dasgupta will discuss the critical interplay of diplomatic and military initiatives of the 1971 India-Pakistan War. The lecture will focus on the critical role of India's larger foreign policy objectives, diplomatic efforts to counter deeply-rooted objections to secessionist movements in the international community, and how India secured Soviet assurance of vetoing US moves to impose a ceasefire before a decisive outcome on the battlefield.

  • Amb. Rakesh Sood

    Amb. Rakesh Sood

    Former Diplomat

    Amb. Sood will take participants behind the scenes of India’s diplomatic efforts and successful negotiations that led to the inking of the 2007 Civil Nuclear Agreement. The session will focus on this diplomatic success to identify  a variety of negotiation strategies.

  • Amb. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta

    Amb. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta

    Former Diplomat

    In this session Amb. Dasgupta will discuss the negotiations leading to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He will stress on India's role in these negotiations to analyse India's green diplomacy. 


  • Amb. (Dr) Mohan Kumar

    Amb. (Dr) Mohan Kumar

    Former Diplomat

    Amb. (Dr) Mohan Kumar will look at how India conducts its Trade Negotiations. By analysing India's approach to FTA's (such as RCEP), and the evolution of India's foreign trade policies in response to global supply chains, this session will cover the most important aspect of foreign policy in a globalized world. 


  • Amb. Nirupama Rao

    Amb. Nirupama Rao

    Former Foreign Secretary

    In this conversational session, Ambassador Nirupama Rao will focus on the ‘grammar of diplomacy’ i.e. how does the diplomatic core communicate India's interests and policies at home and abroad. The conversation will also dwell on crisis communication, registering objections at international forums, and the changing nature of diplomatic communication and public outreach on social media.

  • Alok Joshi

    Alok Joshi

    Former RAW Chief

    In this conversational session Mr. Alok Joshi will talk about the intricate yet unexplored relationship between intelligence agencies and the foreign policy making apparatus in India. 


  • Suhasini Haidar

    Suhasini Haidar

    National Editor and Diplomatic Affairs Editor, The Hindu

    In this conversational session, Suhasini Haidar will focus on how the media covers Indian foreign policy. The session will provide insights into the challenges faced by journalists on the MEA beat and ways of deciphering, writing, and discussing India's foreign policy.

  • Prof. C Raja Mohan

    Prof. C Raja Mohan

    Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, NUS

    Prof. C Raja Mohan will focus on India’s relations with its neighbours. This session will outline the strategic significance, and trace their ever-changing dynamics, of the region from India’s point of view. It will explore the impact of the 'Raj' legacy on India's regional policy, contemporary dynamics of India’s relations with its near abroad (South Asia, West Asia, South East Asia), the future of India's engagement with the region, and renewed areas of importance for India.

  • Amb. Shivshankar Menon

    Amb. Shivshankar Menon

    Former National Security Advisor

    Amb. Shivshankar Menon's lecture will explore India’s geopolitical predicament in the current international order. It will do so on two levels - regionally, the nature of India’s rivalry with China both in its economic and strategic significance; and internationally, understanding the nature of the US-China security competition and deliberating on India’s role. Additionally, larger questions of balance of interests and great power politics will be explored.

  • CSDR Team

    CSDR Team

    Details to be shared with selected participants. 

  • TBC


The applications for the next batch of this course will open in the last quarter of 2021. 

We will launch the next batch of this course in the last quarter of 2021. Please follow our Twitter handle - @CSDR_India to stay updated.