The world is evolving at a fast pace, the old ceding space to the new. The
first two decades of this century had prepared the ground for the
emergence of a new global order, one that would impact the economic,
social, political as well as cultural spheres of societies across the world.
However, the unexpected and sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic,
since early 2020, has affected every aspect of domestic and international
affairs and continues to remain a major challenge, even for major powers
like the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), to control and
reverse the spread of the disease. India, which has also been hit by this
infectious disease, has shown resilience under difficult circumstances and is
on a steady path of recovery- health-wise and economically. During these
trying times, the country has made unrelenting efforts to turn the
challenges posed by the pandemic into opportunities . India's new foreign
policy initiative, famously called 'vaccine diplomacy' , has earned global
recognition, particularly from the neighbouring countries as well as those in
West Asia, Africa and Latin America. As aptly stated by India's External
Affairs Minister (EAM), Dr. S. Jai shankar, "the Covid19 pandemic has brought
out the importance of international cooperation… We are at the heart of
As India continues to play an important role in world affairs , even in the midst of the pandemic, it is imperative that it prepares it self to handle the opportunities and challenges that this emerging world order will present . Speaking at the fourth Ramnath Goenka Lecture in November 2019, the EAM had emphas ized that "a nation that has the aspiration to become a leading power someday cannot continue with unsettled borders , an unintegrated region and under-exploited opportunities . Above all, it cannot be dogmatic in approaching a visibly changing global order".
Picking up on this thought, the Symbiosis School of International Studies is organizing the 7th edition of the International Relations Conference titled: Competition, Convergence and Multi alignment : Shaping India’s Foreign Policy for the Next Decade. It will take place in the virtual mode on 29-30 April 2021. The five sessions will provide a platform for deliberations on issues that will impact India's foreign policy in the years to come.