No. 6


January-February 2024

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings from the Centre of Excellence for Himalayan Studies, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Delhi NCR. We are pleased to present the 6th edition of our Newsletter.

The Centre completed one year of its establishment on 24 January, and we have a range of publications and activities to showcase as you will see our previous newsletters. In January and February we kept up the pace. 


In an Occasional Paper, Dr. Atul Kumar, Associate Member, China Studies Centre, University of Sydney, explores the evolving “dynamics of Nepal-China military ties”. He argues that Kathmandu’s efforts are aimed at reinforcing its equidistance from both Delhi and Beijing.



CHS Fellow, Dr. Anand P. Krishnan, penned a Commentary, that analyzes the opening of a new pilot Free Trade Zone in Xinjiang, arguing that this is part of the Chinese Party-state’s continued diversification of economic strategies in the region.


Our researchers also publish on other platforms and you can find a selection of these writings 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.


CHS was part of Shiv Nadar IoE’s Young Thinkers Forum Winter School organized on campus for school students from 3-7 January. We conducted a Quiz, titled a ‘Walk Through the Himalayas’, to familiarize the students with the region. Dr. Anand P. Krishnan, CHS Fellow, wore the hat of the quizmaster.



In a piece for the Deccan Herald, CHS Director, Dr. Jabin T. Jacob parsed through Xi Jinping’s address to Chinese people on New Year’s eve. He points out that China is extremely serious about questions of civilisational heritage and greatness using these as a way of diverting attention from its economic problems and to counter international pressures. In a piece in the Hindustan Times he and CHS Associate Fellow, Dr. Devendra Kumar, analyzed the appointment of PLA Navy Admiral Dong Jun as China’s new Defence Minister. They argue that the appointment has to be placed within the country’s domestic political dynamics and Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign and that it is not necessarily a greater stress on the maritime dimension that is the primary message.

Dr. Jacob was also part of two podcasts. In January on Questions and Digressions, he discussed Chinese domestic politics, foreign and security policies while in the Interpreting India series by Carnegie India, in February he examined China’s increased presence as well as engagements in South Asia.


CHS Distinguished Fellow, Mr. Claude Arpi authored three pieces for Firstpost – the first of these analyzes the Chinese Party-state’s control of internet and propaganda, including re-interpretation of religious doctrines in Tibet. In another piece, he discusses the use of history by the Communist Party of China to power its narrative in the Himalayan region bordering India.

The third piece delves into two recent developments in relation to the Indian Army – rehabilitation of two villages in Uttarakhand near the Line of Actual Control, and the 74th anniversary celebrations of Major Bob Khathing’s arrival in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. He underscored India’s early preparations in India’s frontier regions under the supervision of India's first Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the aftermath of China’s takeover of Tibet.

Mr. Arpi also penned a piece for Deccan Chronicle on the increased infrastructural and developmental activities by China in the region surrounding Mount Kailash in Tibet and the closing of all routes of pilgrimage to the site for Indians.

In a podcast, Def-Talks by Aadi, Mr. Arpi spoke on the increased use of history by China to suit its narrative at. In another conversation, with Lt. Gen. P. R. Shankar (retd.), for Gunners Shot he also discussed the increasing Sinicization of Tibet.


CHS Director, Dr. Jabin T. Jacob moderated the ICS Wednesday Seminar, ‘“Silk Road Economic Belt” (2013) to “Community with a Shared Future for Mankind” (2023): Deciphering Xi Jinping’s World View’, on 24 January.

Our Distinguished Fellow, Mr. Claude Arpi, spoke on the Importance of Tibet as part of a course at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok, on 24 February.

CHS Associate Fellow, Dr. Devendra Kumar reviewed the book, Elephant on the Silk Road: Sectors of Promise for India and Central Asia, by Pankaj Tripathi and Sunil Kumar (Indian Council of World Affairs; Ane Books Pvt. Ltd., 2023), for Journal of Asian Economic Integration.

Dr. Kumar presented a paper at the conference, BRICS: A Way Ahead for Global Powerhouse, organized by the Centre for Central Eurasian Studies and Shailendra Education Society’s College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Mumbai in collaboration with Russian House, Mumbai on 6 February. He also presented a joint paper with Prof. James Leibold (Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, La Trobe University, Melbourne) titled, ‘Recent Shifts in Minority Political Representation in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and their Implications for Sino-Indian Relations’, in a workshop on Evolving A Himalayan Policy for India: Infrastructure, States, Communities, and Ecologies in the Eastern Himalayas, on 7-8 February, at Sikkim University, Gangtok. He also spoke on ‘Urbanization in China’s Borderlands: A Case of Shiquanhe in Ngari Prefecture and Bayi District in Nyingchi City in Tibet Autonomous Region’, in a Roundtable at the Inaugural Collaborative Workshop organized by M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, on 19 February.

As always, you can remain up to date with our publications, events and activities either through our website, X (@Himalayas_SNU), and/or Facebook. We welcome your valuable feedback on our work and look forward to your continued support.