Student Seminars/Debates and Conferences
- Lyceum Parliamentary Debate
Politics in today’s democratic era has assumed various forms and has led to a more open platform for discussions, debates, questions and answers and points and counter points. Keeping this in mind, it is necessary that we keep ourselves updated and this can only be done through sessions which enable us to understand the functioning of democracy.
The PG Association Lyceum which enables exchange of information and ideas regarding issues of international importance organized a parliamentary debate on 6th March at Sky View, Central Block, Main Campus. The theme of the debate was Uttar Pradesh Elections. The Emcee for the programme was Shanti Nair and the moderator for the session was Dr. Koiremba, both from the Department of International Studies and History. The programme comprised of the BJP represented by Saagar and Jyotirmai from International Studies and History, Congress by Anna and Shravan from International Studies and History, BSP by Sukanya and Vatsala from International Studies and History, Samajwadi Party by Louis and Karan, from the School of Law, Independent Candidates by Siddharth and Sachin from International Studies and History and CPI (M) by Chitresh and Arjun from International Studies and History. The programme began with each party presenting their propaganda and the measures that they would take up on coming to power, which was later followed by a question and answer session by the audience to parties. The maximum number of questions was raised to the alliance of Congress and Samajwadi Party and both the parties defended their decision to fight the elections together. This was followed by a rebuttal by parties on each other’s claims. There were allegations and counter allegations which were put forth by the parties in a parliamentary manner. Some of the questions raised included the inclusion of members with criminal cases in the cabinet and also regarding the safety of the women.
The programme then ended with concluding statements made by parties to the public to vote for them. Thus, the fruitful session came to an end. The session helped the audience as well as the participants to equip themselves with the latest developments and have a better insight into the ideologies of the parties.
- STUDENTS SEMINARS / DEBATES / CONFERENCES
DEBATE ON " JAPAN, AN ASIAN MIRACLE : MYTH OR REALITY?
On 28th July, 2016, the students of IInd Year BA HEP, engaged in a debate on whether Japan’s growth and development as a country, particularly after the Second World War, is a myth or not. Professor Joshy M. Paul chaired the debate which began with a general overview on the situation in Japan. Shivangi Shrivastava started with quoting Alvin Toffler; i.e. the importance of muscle, mind and money and how the Japanese used these powers efficiently to become the country that they are today. She stressed on the role of MITI, the Ministry of Trade and International Industry which was set up in 1949 to efficiently tackle problems facing post – war Japan and the role of American aid which the Japanese used efficiently too. Bhavya AG, countered Shivangi’s argument by questioning the basis of Japan’s growth, particularly in relation to the economic slowdown in the 1970s and the 1990s, the latter also known as The Lost Decade. The dependence of the Japanese economy on the status American Dollar and oil exports were critically examined too. Her main argument was that Japan is too dependent on external factors and this is why its rapid growth and development is a myth.
Next, we had Ram Prasad speak about the process of development in Japan and the industrious attitude of the Japanese and their nationalism which led them to such rapid growth and expansion, that today they are the one of the largest economies in the world. He stressed on the efficiency with which Japan has able to channelize American aid and protection in a way that has allowed the country to remain a superpower despite no nuclear weaponry. Adding on to what Shivangi said, while countering Bhavya too, he talked about the policies introduced by successive Japanese governments which have made it the country that it is today. Countries around the world willingly accept Japanese investment and this stands testimony to their rise which indeed is a miracle. We then had Tryphine Dzimbanete express her views on the Economic and Political situation in Japan over the years which challenge the view that Japan is an Asian Miracle. She began by talking about the oil shock and the devaluation of the US dollar in the 1970s which adversely affected the Japanese economy. With this she questioned the very foundations of Japan’s rise. Next she spoke about the transition of the economy after its bubble burst through the 1980s and 1990s. Her argument was based on the fact that Japan’s monetary policy saw no change despite such huge shocks, loans were still cheaply available and a false sense of security was provided. Politically too, Japan had over the course of the 20th century lost all its colonies in South East Asia and it were to take the country many years before diplomatic relations were established with all its former colonies. Lastly, the Japanese government was constantly plagued with allegations of corruption and saw leadership changes a number of times throughout its period of living in a so called miracle.
Jayanth Medikurthi began his argument by analysing Japan’s growth over time and its ability to maintain its status as a superpower despite various setbacks. He said that setbacks exist for economies around the world and their response is what matters. Further, he supplemented his stand by talking about Japan’s military expenditure, which is less than 1% of their GDP. In spite of spending a negligible amount on their border’s protection, that too in such a volatile part of the Pacific Ocean is remarkable. Peace is something that the Japanese are committed to and no one knows better than them, the devastating effects of nuclear warfare. Lastly, Jayanth said that despite a number of setbacks, Japan has remained committed to its cause of growth and development and anti nuclear warfare stance. His was the last argument from the side which believed that Japan is an Asian miracle. Its rise wasn’t/isn’t a myth. Rusha Gupta countered his analysis by stating that Japan’s rise isn’t a miracle, it’s a mirage that provides a false sense of security to not just the Japanese, but to investors from outside as well. She stressed on its overdependence on oil exports and protection from the USA. Further, the country has one of the oldest populations in the world with its population growth in the negative. This just adds to the labour shortages that the Japanese economy will/is facing right now. The growing debt in the Japanese economy is because of the way it has functioned over the last 70 odd years. It has been purely capitalistic in its approach with no consideration for small industries. Big industries with larger returns were given so much attention that there was no scope for small industries to flourish. Only the elite of the Japanese society benefitted from such policies, the life of a common man didn’t change much. He was always affected by any adversity/shock in the economy more than the elite ever did. Rusha’s argument was therefore based on the fact that the Japanese always focused on the “bigger picture”, without realising that many small perfect pictures make one perfect big picture. Their growth was a mirage because it created a false sense of security for people who never really did/could enjoy the benefits of Japan’s so called growth and development.
The last speaker of the debate was Smera Jayadeva who critically examined American involvement in Japanese recovery after World War II. She added to Rusha’s argument that the Japanese have always created a false sense of security/safety net for their economy and their border’s protection because of American aid and pressure. The US’s decision to assist Japan in its recovery wasn’t humanitarian; it was politically motivated to put up a buffer against the growing influence of Communism stemming from both the USSR and China. Lastly, she questioned how Japan’s rise could be considered a miracle, when its initial boost was because of the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Japan was and will always be an American agent in Asia as even today the country seeks some form American acceptance in everything that it does. That was the conclusion of the debate which was followed by an extensive rebuttal session, where many valid points were raised not only by the panelists and the chair but by members of the audience too. Professor Anurag Tripathi and Fr. Jose joined in the discussion and gave their insights. Overall, it was a fruitful session which gave us new and wider perspectives on Japan and it was a step further than what our syllabus has to offer
An Inter Deanery Seminar of PG Students - “European Union: To be or not to be”
The Seminar on the theme “European Union: To be or Not to be” was organized on 27 August 2016 by the Department of International Studies and History successfully attracting 16 papers from numerous delegates representing various deaneries of the Christ university. The papers presented different angles to the entire European Union story giving the audience and the participants a broader perspective on the whole issue. The objective of the conference was to not only concentrate on Brexit but to highlight the question of existence and the stability of European Union itself. The objective was focused upon with reference to various issues that currently impact the stability of EU ranging from Climate Change to its effect on Indian IT firms. Brexit, although not being the central point, was nevertheless touched upon my various delegates who analyzed the historical background, etched the path to the exit while foreseeing and predicting its future consequences. Delegates focused on the economic impact of Brexit.
The seminar commenced with a brief welcome by Mr. Venugopal at 9.30Am and the presentations were judged by Dr. Sheetal Bharath of economics department, Mr.Venugopal Menon, Dr. Joshy Paul and the faculty members of Department of International Studies. The chief guest for the day, Dr. Sheetal Bharath the chief guest gave the keynote address in which she put forward the importance of making informed decisions when it comes to big-level decisions. She gave the essence of how informed people do play a major in today's world where the crowds get easily swayed away by politicians who over-simplifying problems and give the people exactly what the want to hear instead of projecting reality. Dr.Sheetal also brought about the point of how one's identity should not influence the decision and this can happen only if the people begin to make informed decisions.
The session began with the first panel headed by the delegates Madhurima Das, Arun Teja and Arjun Pillai. Madhurima Das from I MA Economics proposed a paper on the Migration management with a case study of the Mediterranean crisis by identifying the crisis to be a form of identity crisis. Measures like border management, managing migration flow and by permanent exchange of information. Arun Teja and Arjun Pillai from I MAIS presented on European Union and Islam analyzing the history between the two and its relevance in the present day. The emergence of right wing parties in Europe and their growing popularity was put forward.
The second panel of delegates comprising of Subhajit Paul, Anna Catherine, Vivian Peter and Prannay Kumar, Sidharth Dey and Shravan Govindraj was a mix of media, impact of Brexit and the re-emergence of nation-states. The delegates Subhajit Paul and Vivian Peter and Prannay Kumar focused on the effects of print media on Brexit and effects of Brexit on media respectively. A comparative of how the print media played a major role in influencing the decision of the people both in the first and the second Brexit referendums was put forward.
The effect of Brexit on the UK entertainment industry rises the question and doubts of if UK will single-handedly cope up to the Hollywood competition without getting subsidies from the EU. Anna Catherine brought up an abstract of the analysis of Britain's alienation from EU since its inception. An important point of how Brexit can still be legally reversed was also put forward by the researcher. Sidharth Dey and Shravan focused on how the rise of nationalism is affecting the stability of EU with functionalism and Neo-functionalism as background theories.
A legal perspective of European Union, Liberalism in Reverse, The roof of the world gains EU's interest and European Union- A convoluted Entity were presented by delegates Gayatri Nimdeo, Soundarya and Sukanya Ghosh, Sandra Kuriokoise and Akhila, Jyotirmai Vyas and Sagar Kote respectively. Liberalism in reverse focused on the questions of inequality in the union and how EU is the epitome of the world system theory. The roof of the world gains EU's interest is the climate change perspective and the silent wars that are being fought over establishing rights over the Arctic seas. Emergence of new trade route in the northern sea due to the melting of ice caps will change and attract EU's interest in the seas. EU- A convoluted Entity and Legal perspective gave an insight to the complexities faced by EU with a historical background.
The final panel of six delegates, Ridhima Jaitley and Sita, Chinu Jerome and Nilanjana Ghosh, Amanpreet Kaur and Debashree Nath discussed the issue from an economic perspective. Brexit and the Trade Effects on EU, Brexit's impact on India's IT sector and European Union, a structure to hold were the proposed papers in this panel.
The seminar concluded at 1pm with the vote of thanks by Maya K of MA IS first year.
Report of the Students Seminar on India and the European Union
Department of International Relations and History organised a half day seminar for undergraduate students (HEP &EPS – I, II, III) on the topic India and the European Union on Aug 3, 2016 at Campus View, Central Block, CHRIST (Deemed to be University).
The programe was Inaugurated by Prof. Vagishwari followed by two session: India and the European Union: Economic Relations, chaired by Dr. Anurag Tripathi and India and the European Union: Socio-Political Relations, chaired by Dr. Priyanka Mallik. Prof Venugopal B. Menon delivered the vote of thanks for the seminar.
In the inaugural speech Prof. Vagishwari said that conducting such kind of seminar is a good learning process for under graduate students especially to generate some sort of critical thinking while doing under graduate programme. She also explained that the exit of Britain is a new development in the context of understanding European Union as single regional entity and how both the other members and India is going to cope with it.
In the first session, there were six papers presented on the economic impact of the Brexit and how it will affect India. Since large number of Indian business community uses Britain as a launching pad to do business with other member countries it is a major challenge for them. The session discussed following major points;
• South Asia can ponder how the EU member countries settled their political dispute at the initial stage of the integration process
• There are 16 rounds of negotiations have been held between India and EU to sign an FTA so far, but after Brexit its future is in limbo
• India-EU relationship is largely influenced by other developments happen globally
• Indian diaspora forms a huge part of the European labor force, of which Britain is the largest so how Brexit impact their job is an important aspect in the relationship
• India contribute a large number of skilled workers such as IT experts, scientist and so on to the European Union and India should exploits their cooperation for the economic development of India
The second session dealt with political and cultural nature of the relationship between India and EU and six papers were presented in this session. The session assessed that Indian culture, especially cinema has a huge audience in the European Union. The Indian origin community still follows Indian tradition and culture while being assimilated into European society. The session discussed following major points;
India and EU, as long standing strategic partners, are committed to working together with a balanced and result-oriented approach.
• India should devise strategies to translate the intellectual, economic and cultural benefits of Indian Diaspora into development of the home country and strike positive and strategic relationships with countries in the European Union that will aid both Indian development as well as support its emergence as a global player
• Although European powers colonized India, but the relationship has always been cordial
• Bollywood depicts the life of Indian community in the European countries in its own perspective and the European society has accepted Indian identity with distinct character
Date: Aug 3
Venue: Campus View, Xth Floor, Central Block
Welcome speech: Prof . Vagishwari
Session I : India and the European Union: Economic Relations
Chair: Dr. Anurag Thripati
Jiss Tom Palell: Looking at European Model of Integration and Its Viability in Promoting South-Asian Cooperation from an Indian Perspective
Annette Sherry Joseph & Rai Pramanik : Role of FDI in India- EU Relations
Archana Jayaprakash : A Portrait of India's Political and Economical Relation with EU
Ekta Sawant & Tushar Anand : India and European Union: Trade Prospects
Vishwesh Sundar: India’s Soft Power in Europe
Sweetlin Brahmachary& Apoorva Singegol: Indians in European Union - Ethnic identity and Economic Efficiency
Session II: India and the European Union: Socio-Political Relations
Chair: Dr. Priyanka Mallik
Rebekah A M & Jaya Jain: European Union and India : Historical Understanding with Special Reference to Defence and Security Relations
Lisa Varghese & Bhavya AG: Indian Diaspora in The European Union: Possibilities of Positive Spillovers on Indian Development
Gayatri: Political and Cultural relations between EU and India
Nancy Rout & Arundhati Sural: The European Union and the Indian Diaspora: The Brexit Impact
Shivangi Shrivastava & Irfan Nazir : Bollywood’s Portrayal of Indian Diaspora in European Union
Praba Shamili Jeeva: "European Union as a supranational governance".
Vote of Thanks: Prof Venugopal B. Menon