“This is an exceptional book on relationship between civil aviation and foreign policy. The author, Dr. SanatKaul, has carried out an extensive critical analysis of India’s aviation policy and foreign policy in so far, its neighbouring countries are concerned and has then outlined the role aviation can play to further enhance goodwill between India and its neighbours.”
—Prof. Ram S. Jakhu, DCLFull Professor – Acting Director
McGill University, Canada
“Linking India’s aviation policy with its foreign policy is indeed a bold attempt for which Dr. SanatKaul needs to be complimented. The author while drawing attention to Look East policy has underlined the importance of Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI). In support of his valid argument he mentions the growing trade and tourism with ASEAN countries, and rightly goes on to argue for needed subsidies required.
At the same time he has argued for air connectivity in the west towards Chabahar port being developed by India in Iran and air connectivity to important towns which fall on the route to Afghanistan, Ashgabat Agreement route and the North South Transport Corridor. The author rightly assesses that unless these connections are brought right up front our efforts may not bring in the desired fruits. It’s like extending UDAN in the neighbouring countries.”
—Prof. D. B. Gupta, Honorary Senior Fellow
National Council of Applied Economic Research, Delhi
This is an unusual book on relationship between civil aviation and foreign policy. The author has done a critical analysis of India’s aviation policy as well as that of its foreign policy in so far its neighbouring countries are concerned and has then tried to relate the role aviation can play to further enhance goodwill between the two.
The author has tried to convince that a policy of directed aviation connectivity to its neighbouring countries, even if flights have to be subsidised, is most necessary from a strategic point of view.
In dealing with India’s thriving and fast growing outbound tourism (which took a dive during the pandemic and will revive hopefully) he has suggested how to lure Indian nationals outbound to directions which would bring foreign policy dividends even if subsidy to airlines is needed. It might even have a better impact than India building ports, roads and other infrastructure in the neighbourhood.
In an unexpected way he has also pointed out the lacuna or the missing link in its Act East Policy by ignoring the potential of Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) as an attractive high end (& low volume) international tourist destination by direct air connectivity to ASEAN countries. This will enhance India’s soft power and make the world realise that Indian jurisdiction extends right up to the Malacca straits. This is apart from the strategic importance of these islands. In the current scenario of the aggressive role of China both for India in the Himalayas as well as for ASEAN countries around South China Sea, India’s effective occupation of largely uninhibited ANI through international tourism becomes a strategic necessity.
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