A 16-member delegation from the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), UK visited USI on 14 May 2019. The team was led by Maj Gen (Retd) John Craig Lawrence, and included members from Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, Kenya, Ukraine, Italy, Finland, Japan, UK and Azerbaijan. A RCDS course delegation had earlier visited USI in 2018. The welcome remarks were made by Lt Gen PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director USI, which was followed by remarks from Maj Gen (Retd) John Craig Lawrence.
Maj Gen BK Sharma, AVSM, SM** (Retd) Deputy Director (Research) and Head of Centre for Strategic Studies and Simulation (CS3) gave a presentation on “Assessment: Evolving Security Scenario in Afghanistan. Maj Gen Rajiv Narayanan, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow, USI made a presentation on “Current Trends in the Indo-Pacific Region: An Indian Perspective”. The foreign participants questioned and queried on wide range of issues. In addition to the question pertinent to the presentation, the issues that came up were, what are the irritants in the Indo-Chinese relations, and will the economic competition with China spill over to security space; what is the trajectory and future of Indo-US relations; why India’s has contrasting worldview on the two authoritarian countries Russia and China, where India shares excellent rapport with Russia and yet considers China as an adversary; what are the prospects of India being seen as a regional hegemon over a period of time; what are the domestic and foreign policy challenges for India. There were many questions on India’s internal challenges including rise of populism, GDP, growth inequality. Prior to visit to India, the delegation had visited Pakistan, where they were briefed on many issues including LoC.
The concluding remarks were made by Lt Gen PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director USI and Maj Gen (Retd) John Craig Lawrence. The two sides exchanged Mementos after the session.