India marks 85th Indian Air Force Day। Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa says IAF working towards ‘Technology Intensive’ capability। For the first time, indigenous LCA Tejas takes part in IAF Day Flypast । IAF will issue RFI for 114 single engine combat aircraft within two weeks or so । RFI will go to Lockheed Martin for F 16 and Saab for Gripen for their latest variants । IAF aims to get 18 aircraft in 4-5 years, and 96 more in progressive manufacture from then onwards । Capability will be the first parametre for selecting the aircraft, and then the price । The selected aircraft will have more capabilities than those specified in the 2007 RfP for MMRCA । 18 aircraft will । IAF will consider General Atomics’ Predator C Avenger if offered by US Government। But, says Air Chief BS Dhanoa, no RFI or RFP issued yet by IAF yet। Government approves partial disinvestment in HAL। HAL initiates process for 10 percent disinvestment through Initial Public Offer (IPO)। Indian Army destroys NSCN (K) camps on Indo-Myanmar borders.। India says No to Troops Deployment in Afghanistan। India, US Entering a New Phase in Strategic Defence Partnership, says Nirmala Sitharaman। Mattis describes India as a Major Pillar of Regional Stability and Security। German Chancellor Wins 4th Term। First Scorpene submarine delivered to Navy। Named Kalvari, after India’s first Foxtrot class submarine, it will formally be commissioned very soon। India’s legend, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh passes away।
October 20, 2017
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Kautilyan Theory of Arthashastra Relevant in Today’s Statecraft, says Shyam Saran

New Delhi: Reflecting on the resonance of Kautilyan theory in the day-to-day practices of statecraft, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) Chairman and former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said that the categorization of what constitutes ‘national power’ has been amply defined in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.

Mr Saran was speaking on the occasion of the book launch of ‘Kautilya’s Arthashastra: an Intellectual portrait–Classical Roots of Modern Politics in India’ and ‘The Arthashastra in a Transcultural Perspective: Comparing Kautilya with Sun-Zi, Nizam al-Mulk, Barani and Machiavelli’ at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) on January 12.

Commenting on several elements of Arthashastra that are relevant even today, the former Foreign Secretary said the importance of a good ruler and a good counsel, based on knowledge and wisdom as advocated in the Arthashastra, are critical in even today’s political set up.

Also speaking on the occasion, Professor Subrata K Mitra, Director, Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore (NUS) noted that the Arthashastra covers all the broad aspects of political, military, social, economic, and cultural life, and the diverse components of power that are the constitutive elements of the state – absent in the discourse of Plato and Aristotle, the two founders of the Western philosophical tradition.

Of the two books launched, ‘Kautilya’s Arthashastra: an Intellectual portrait – Classical Roots of Modern Politics in India’ showcases the endogenous politico-strategic thought that underpins and drives India’s rise in the 21st century. The political institutions and processes in contemporary India have remained deeply grounded in its pre-modern political heritage, succinctly codified in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.

Written by Subrata K Mitra and Michael Liebig, the book explores these themes through such bridge concepts as the ‘modernity of tradition’ and the ‘re-use of the past’ in tackling contemporary political problems.

‘India’s strategic culture according to Professor Mitra and Dr Liebig, endures despite many colonial attempts to extinguish it. It is therefore important to understand that past and gauge its impact’, stated a read out message from Professor Rahul Mukherji, Head, Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute that was read out to the audience.

‘The Arthashastra in a Transcultural Perspective: Comparing Kautilya with Sun-Zi, Nizam al-Mulk, Barani and Machiavelli’, edited by Dr Michael Liebig, and Dr Saurabh Mishra, is the product of a collaborative effort by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi; South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University; and Institute of South Asian Studies, National University Singapore.

The volume explores the philosophical systems, thought-figures and ancient cultural spaces, on the path from India to Europe, looking for any possibility of Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the most comprehensive and systematic text available on art of governance from ancient India, having interacted and influenced the evolution of international relations and Political Theory that are considered as originally European intellectual contributions.




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