Nitin Pai spoke at the Twelfth NIAS‐DST Training Programme on Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Science, Technology and Society on the topic “Does India have a grand strategy?” on 20th November 2014. The audience included a select group of senior scientist‐administrators and technologists from various scientific organisations in the country.
Nitin argued that India does have a grand strategy. He spoke about the origin of this debate in the wake of the collapse of the Cold War. At that time, analysts like Dr George Tanham spoke about the absence of an Indian grand strategy. That narrative has remained dominant even today. However, this view is incorrect because the concept of grand strategy is being seen in Alexandrian perspective and since India has largely restricted itself to the sub-continent, a lack of conquests has been implied as a lack of grand strategy.
Nitin argued that the Indian grand strategy is concerned with keeping India together as a nation. The most important determinant of this strategy is national success. Tolerance, pluralism are important elements of this strategy. Growth and prosperity to all its citizens is the meaning of national success. He explicated how, throughout history, various Indian rulers and strategic thinkers have been preoccupied with the thought of building a nation.