In 2008, Ifri launched a new research and reflection program on India and South Asia within its Center for Asian Studies. Our institute hopes to become a privileged meeting place for the region's political, economic and social actors. Through publications and the organization of conferences and seminars, researchers at Ifri will help to decipher and analyze various issues in the region. Our action therefore favors the creation of partnerships between France, the European Union and South Asia.
For Ifri, the necessary creation of this program became evident with the growing weight of India and other South Asian countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives. In this area, which represents one of the principle populations centers on the planet, the future of the world is being played out.
On the economic level, India as an emerging power is becoming an undeniable partner, or even a direct competitor for the United States or the European Union, in the same respect as China. By asserting itself as a major economic actor in the world it is witnessing the globalization of its enterprises.
This development, along with the enrichment of a significant part of its population, has consequences for India's foreign policy. In order to ensure its growth it must project itself beyond the region - to the Middle East and Africa - in order to first and foremost secure access to raw materials.
South Asia is also an immense cauldron where a number of global concerns are being played out: nuclear proliferation, political Islam and terrorism, the struggle against discrimination, ecology, and the dynamism of political movements that have practically disappeared in the West, such as Maoism.