People-to-people ties between UAE, India sees fast growth

by Krishnan Nayar NEW DELHI, 17th March, 2019 (WAM) -- Catching up with the fast-paced and diverse growth in relations between the UAE and India, people-to-people ties between the two countries are picking up.

On Monday, an interactive session will be held at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, IIT, in New Delhi on the theme of 'flourishing relationship between the Republic of India and the United Arab Emirates'.

The IITs in several cities in India are among the most influential academic institutions in this country which have produced graduates and post-graduates who now occupy leadership positions in the global corporate world, especially in the United States and South East Asia. Many of India’s leaders across the board, including the chief ministers of Delhi and Goa and the titans who run leading Indian businesses, are an alumnus of these prestigious institutes.

Monday’s interactive session at the IIT, Delhi, has been put together by the C.D. Foundation, a leading non-profit organisation in India.

This meeting comes close on the heels of a two-day international conference in Mumbai titled, 'Connect Gulf: Culture, Commerce and Polity'. The conference, organised by Mumbai University’s Department of Civics and Politics, was attended by leading Indian academics specialising in the Gulf, experts from the media who have been writing on the Gulf for several decades, retired Indian Ambassadors who have served in the Arab world and research scholars on the region.

Several academics and experts from several Gulf states, the United Kingdom and China attended the conference.

Delivering the inaugural address at the conference held at the Research Centre of the University’s Department of Civics and Politics, Shajahan Madampatt, Adviser, National Media Council of the UAE, said that in India’s relations with the Gulf, Track II engagement preceded Track I.

"The Gulf needed workers, Indians needed jobs. But now governments on both sides are fast catching up on relations and these have become diverse," he said. He referred to the long history of contacts between India and the Gulf and pointed to the Dilmun civilisation which was on the route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilisation.

He spoke in great detail at an academic session and panel discussion on India’s connections with the Gulf, dwelling in particular on the thriving present-day relations between the UAE and India, which continue to expand.

Shortly before the Mumbai event, a two-day conference to address the root causes of radicalisation and terrorism analysed cooperation between the UAE and India against these twin dangers to civilised society and in providing security.

This conference in New Delhi, organised by the Policy Perspectives Foundation here, was addressed, among others, by Syed Asif Ibrahim, who was Special Envoy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on countering terrorism and extremism and G. Parthasarathy, who was India’s High Commissioner to Australia, Cyprus and Pakistan and Ambassador to Myanmar.

The uptick in people-to-people contacts has also seen increasing and active participation by think tankers and strategic analysts from the UAE in signature Indian conferences such as the annual Raisina Dialogue organised by the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation and the highly rated West Asia conference of the Indian government’s think tank, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis.

WAM/Nour Salman