No. 2


May-June 2023

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings from the Centre of Excellence for Himalayan Studies (CHS), Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Delhi NCR! Welcome to our second edition of our newsletter.

We have built on our promising start since our inception – see our inaugural newsletter – and continued our efforts to make the Centre, a place of solid research on the wider Himalayan region. Our website, now up online, is the first stop for interface, and a repository that showcases our research, publications, and events.


CHS publications are the mainstay of our centre’s research agenda, and our output will be of interest to scholars, policymakers and general public. We have three types of publications – Commentary, Issue Brief, and Occasional Paper – that cater to diverse readership and their reading choices.

We had a Commentary by our Associate Fellow, Dr. Devendra Kumar, on the changing profiles of members of the Central Tibet Work Coordination Group in China after the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2022. In addition, our researchers also publish on other platforms and there is a selection of these writings too that you will find on the CHS website.


We welcome writings/publications from those among you working on Himalayas around the four broad themes of research at CHS – Borders and Identity, Economy, Environment and Geopolitics. However, these are not exclusive and we are open to suggestions and supporting interesting ideas. Those interested may get in touch with us on our email [email protected] For more, see here.

External Activities

CHS Director, Dr. Jabin T. Jacob, along with Dr. Constantino Xavier, Fellow, Centre for Social and Economic Progress, New Delhi, had a co-edited volume published in May, titled How China Engages South Asia: Themes, Partners and Tools. The report contains eight case studies on China’s new methods and engagement strategies in South Asia – specifically in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka – alongside an Introduction by the co-editors. The report was launched via a webinar on 15 June, which also included a panel discussion of international scholars discussing the report and moderated by Dr. Jacob.


Dr. Jabin T. Jacob penned two pieces for Deccan Herald. One piece stressed the need for India to respond clearly and directly to China’s transgressions as well as attempts to normalise the current situation on the LAC. Another article in June took stock of the China-Central Asia summit in Xi’an where he emphasized on the need for India to augment its engagements with the region.

Dr. Jacob – along with Dr. Constantino Xavier – shared the takeaways from their co-edited report, How China Engages South Asia: Themes, Partners and Tools, in an interview to Business Standard on 29 May. His views also appeared in The Hindu Business Line and The Diplomat on the third anniversary of the clash between Chinese and Indian armies at Galwan.

Our Distinguished Fellow, Mr. Claude Arpi wrote for the Asian Age on China's new 'peacemaker' role in global affairs, that has got wind in its sails through its Global Security Initiative. In the backdrop of news reports of Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s new posts emerging on the Line of Actual Control with India, he authored a piece in FirstPost in June that looked back at the first instance of incursions at Barahoti (in present day Uttarakhand) in 1954.

Dr. Anand Parappadi Krishnan, CHS Fellow, wrote in The Hindu on 3 May regarding the visible adoption of the China template with regard to the recent changes in labour laws in Indian states to increase working hours. He also authored a longer piece in Asian Labour Review on 22 June on how transnational production and labour restructuring are joining China and India at the hip.

Our Associate Fellow, Dr. Devendra Kumar, wrote for Deccan Herald in May, on India's Buddhist diplomacy through the first Global Buddhist Summit held on 20-21 April in Delhi. He also penned a piece for Politeia Research Foundation in June, where he parsed Xi Jinping’s speech at the first China-Central Asia summit in Xi’an, analyzing why stability in the region held strategic and economic importance for Beijing.


Prof. Kaveri Gill, former faculty member at the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, joined the CHS as Non-Resident Senior Fellow.

Dr. Jabin T. Jacob, delivered the keynote lecture titled, ‘“Civilization” and History (Re)Writing in Chinese Foreign Policy: Hierarchy and Order in Chinese Engagement with Central Asia’ at a conference on China-Central Asia Affairs, organized by OSCE Academy, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in June. 


Earlier in May, he delivered a lecture titled, Tibet in the “New Era”: The CPC’s Quest for Greater Control, under The Tibet Awareness talk series, at Tibet Museum in McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh. 


You can remain up to date with our publications, events, and activities either through our website, Twitter (@Himalayas_SNU), Facebook, and/or LinkedIn. We welcome any feedback as well as contributions from those working on the wider Himalayas on the four broad themes of research at CHS – Borders and Identity, Economy, Environment, and Geopolitics. Please get in touch with us at [email protected]