India's National Security Challenges and Decision-Making



Arvind Gupta, Vivekananda International Foundation

Date and Time

December 7, 2018 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

Bio: Dr. Arvind Gupta recently retired as India's Deputy National Security Advisor. In his capacity as Deputy NSA, he also headed India's National Security Council Secretariat from 2014 until 2017. Previously, he was the Director General of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), a thinktank funded by India's Ministry of Defence. Dr. Gupta joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1979 and served at India's diplomatic missions in Moscow, London and Ankara. At the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, he dealt with Afghanistan, the Soviet Union, Russia, Kashmir, and the Central Asian affairs. He is an honorary professor in the Department of Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University. He has an MSc in Physics from the University of Delhi and a Ph.D. in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is currently the Director of Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), a Delhi-based independent, non-partisan think tank focussing on foreign policy, defense and security-related issues from an Indian perspective. His most recent book How India Manages its National Security was published by Penguin Random House in 2018.

Book Overview: In this authoritative and comprehensive survey of the challenges a changing global security environment poses to India, former deputy national security advisor Arvind Gupta outlines the important aspects of the country's security apparatus and how they interface to confront internal and external conflicts. We have today a turbulent Middle East to the west; a rising and assertive China to the north; Pakistan in the grip of the military and the militants across our border and an increasingly militarizing Indian Ocean region surrounding us. Additionally, climate change, cyber security and the vulnerability of our space assets are major areas of concern. Anything that weakens a nation weakens its security, which makes the issues of food, water, health, economics and governance critically significant. Arvind Gupta draws on his long experience in these areas to argue that instead of tactical remedies, a strategic, coherent, institutional approach is needed to deal with these challenges. Strengthening the National Security Council, for instance, could be one way forward.

How India Manages Its National Security explains with great clarity and thoroughness the concept and operation of India's national security apparatus. This book will be of great interest to practitioners, analysts and laymen alike and offer an important voice in the discussion on how national security challenges should be resolved in the decades to come.