The MMAJ Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia organized an online Lecture on “Grandeur of Illusions? Material and Perceptual Interplays in India’s Great Power Quest”. The lecture was followed by Dr. Chris Ogden a well-known scholar on India’s foreign policy and security. He is an Associate Professor, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews, Scotland on December 4, 2020.
Prof. Ajay Darshan Behera, Officiating Director, MMAJ-AIS embraced the speaker and the participants. He introduced the theme of the lecture and emphasized the importance of concepts dealing with power and hegemony in international politics. He observed that both India and China have great power aspirations and are going through unusual changes.
Dr. Chris Ogden in his lecture began by explaining the concept of great power in a historical sense. Great powers, according to him, are the countries that are at the top mainly in terms of material capabilities. The material capabilities include military strength, economic power, large population, greater landmass, technological advancement, GDP, the share of global GDP, nuclear warheads, and reservoirs of energy and resources.
Dr. Ogden explained that India certainly has many of the great power attributes. It has the advantage of its population in terms of demographic dividend, it also has a huge landmass, and its GDP based on PPP is very high. However, on the negative side, India also faces challenges in terms of its CO2 emission problem and still lags behind in access to electricity, it also has problems with alternate energy production. In perceptual terms, India’s infant mortality problem creates a big image problem.
The lecture went well and was attended by participants from Europe and all across India. Prof. Ajay Darshan Behera, Officiating Director, MMAJ-AIS thanked the speaker for his critical observations and insights and the participants for their spirited participation.