The Manipal Advanced Research Group (MARG) at Manipal University has launched the Science, Technology and Security Forum (STSf) website, which is intended to provide a platform to the larger strategic, academic, diplomatic and scientific community to participate in debates on matters impacting international security with a particular focus on Asia and in particular, India. The need for such a forum has its origin in the necessity to integrate scientists and technologists with the matrix of decision-making in matters of policy.
In addition to mature technologies such as nuclear and space, emerging S&T impacting the development of indigenous capability in future preparedness provide an additional focus. For instance, the importance of self-sufficiency in mission critical areas in the post-Stuxnet scenario cannot be understated. With the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, terrorist attacks in the virtual world can be considered as stealth weapons of mass destruction.
As a fast growing world power in a volatile environment it is imperative that objectively derived and independent strategic decisions are guided by India’s own self-interest, recent history and internal assessments of threat scenarios in the context of a rising Asia. Geographically, India is the centre of Asia, connecting West Asia with East and Southeast Asia as well as having direct access to the Indian Ocean and hence the major commercial sea routes. In this Asian century, India’s interests clearly lie in the very continent it is part of. The idea of a united Asia and prospective Asian security architecture has been viewed with skepticism and apathy. The forum will go beyond the traditional discourse on Asian security to help foster a viewpoint that is inclusive and balanced.
It is intended that STSf will present authoritative and expert analyses, opinions and assessments that could give direction and thrust to future policy. This may include recommendations for fast-tracking targeted growth in relevant emerging technologies. Developments in the rest of the world, particularly Asia, will be assessed and examined for their impact on India’s national security and foreign policy. As Asia, and in particular India, is poised to play the keystone role on the world stage, the time has come to revisit and pro-actively assess its stated position on all matters impacting security from an objective India-centric viewpoint, keeping in mind the larger Asian and therefore necessarily global security scenario. The Forum invites the participation of those aware and interested in global, regional and country-specific scientific, technological, security and geopolitical issues.
Science, Technology and Security forum,
Manipal Advanced Research Group,