African, Latin American and Caribbean countries


JSIA’s Centre for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) mission is to enhance interregional understanding and cooperation through policy-oriented research, dialogue and training. To achieve this goal, CALACS serves as a hub at JGU for academics, policy-makers, diplomats and businessmen in India and abroad to connect, exchange, and develop initiatives related to :

  1. African, Latin American and Caribbean (ALAC) countries relations with India
  2. ALAC countries, India and the Global South: interregional policy coalitions and institutions
  3. Sustainable development, trade, investment and other issues affecting ALAC countries.

Applied critical thinking in a changing world

South-South relations are increasingly defining global economy and politics. Africa and the Americas are natural partners, with at one point a shared geography and later a with a shared history. This partnership is now enjoying a period of revitalization owing to an economic upturn in Latin America and in the Caribbean countries, as well as similar developments in several African nations.

This partnership is also outgrowing to other developing countries like India propelled by a common strategy to diversify commercial relations and reduce overdependence. India’s trade with Mexico and Brazil surpasses trade with neighboring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as traditional partners like Canada and Spain. ALAC countries growing economic ties with India also benefit from relatively larger trade complementarity and higher-value investments compared to other emerging economies.

In many instances, the domestic and export wealth of ALAC countries extends beyond their ‘natural’ resources, reaching into the global domain of human innovation.

Many ALAC countries have also achieved higher development levels underpinned by poverty reduction strategies, social welfare programs, and scientific-technological progress.

This has accentuated the possibilities for cooperation between ALAC, India and other countries in the Global South who share similar developmental problems and could learn from each other’s success stories.

As ALAC countries and India become influential voices in international discourse, they also begin to share responsibility for shaping the global agenda in a manner that helps developing countries achieve their objectives.

These ambitions are spearheaded mainly through a common agenda on many multilateral issues, new interregional policy coalitions like the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) Dialogue Forum and the BRICS (association of five emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and new interregional institutions like the New Development Bank (NDB).

CALACS combines interdisciplinary research, policy, and capacity development to understand the changing dynamics of South-South relations, deepen partnerships between ALAC countries and India, and support ALAC countries and India, as part of the Global South, in reshaping global governance.

CALACS’ launch was announced during the BRICS Civil Forum in October 2016. A Special Panel on BRICS Process was organized in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian think tank Research & Information System for Developing Countries, and attended by 80 JGU students, Ambassador Yogendra Kumar, Joint Secretary Alok Simri and the Deputy Heads of Mission from Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

Since its formal launch in February 2017, CALACS has organized several dialogues with renowned experts, journalists, diplomats and entrepreneurs, entered into new partnerships, and launched fully and partially funded internships abroad. CALACS has also engaged in policy-oriented research initiatives aiming at further developing JGU research capacity and student employability.

CALACS Newsletter

CALACS produces monthly newsletters containing analyses of current events in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The newsletters are electronically distributed to a global network of partners in government, academia, international organizations, private sector, and non-governmental organizations.

Contact if you would like to receive our monthly newsletters.

Valor Economico (2 December, 2020): China will react if it thinks Brazil discriminates against the country, say analysts 


Radar China (18 November, 2020): The outcome of the 12th BRICS Summit and the new development banks


Financial Express (14 November, 2020): BRICS A new Agenda for Cooperation?


Folha de São Paulo (16 November, 2020): ‘The Challenge ahead of the BRICS Summit is to provide answers to the urgent matters of our time’


CGTN (19 November, 2020): 12th BRICS Summit – Member states to adopt counter-terrorism strategy


Folha de São Paulo (14 August, 2020): What does Brazil gain from joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?


Folha de São Paulo (27 July, 2020): With over 50 thousand cases per day, India may surpass Brazil and the USA. 


Radio France International (29 July, 2020): Under Brazilian Leadership, the BRICS-Bank May Finance Post-COVID Economic Recovery.


Valor Economico (6 April, 2020): Amid complicated environment, Russia wants BRICS Summit in October


Global Policy (11 March, 2020): Vazquez, K. 2020. BRICS multilateralism à la carte.


Radio France International (21 January, 2020): Jair Bolsonaro and Narendra Modi, two populist leaders in search of declining influence


BBC Brazil (25 January, 2020):  In India, Bolsonaro says that in Brazil immigrants have more rights than us


Jornal do Commercio (24 January, 2020): Brazil-India, a marriage yet to be seen


BBC Brazil (24 January, 2020): Bolsonaro in India – in 7 points, how Brazil compares to the Asian country in terms of economic and social indicators


Financial Express (21 January, 2020): Brazil-India relations: a marriage yet to be seen


BBC World Service – Prof Vazquez and Deputy Minister of Economy and Marcos Troyjo radio interview on Brazil-Indian relations

Folha de Sao Paulo (23 January, 2020): Bolsonaro and Modi meet in India in pursuit of trade and domestic crisis relief


Global Times (23 December, 2019): [巴西]一卿:多,巩固中巴务实合作


Dharma Opina (November, 2019): Podcast on Bolsonaro’s visit to China


Financial Express (18 November, 2019): Geopolitics over Amazon fire taking complex turn for Brazil


Financial Express (9 November, 2019): Brazil-India relations beyond the 70 years, a book by scholars identifies new areas for cooperation


South China Morning Post (25 October, 2019): Common ground on investment but still no hint of Brazil signing up for China’s Belt and Road Initiative


South China Morning Post (24 October, 2019): China-basher or bridge builder? What can we expect when Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visits Beijing?


BBC Brazil (23 October, 2019): One year after saying that ‘China would by Brazil’ Bolsonaro wants to sell state companies and commodities during his visit to Beijing


Valor Economico (18 September, 2019): China awaits Bolsonaro with pragmatism


China-Brazil Business Council (23 August, 2019): Impact, Partnerships and Regional Development – Possible Way Forward for the New Development Bank


Financial Express (31 July, 2019): Brazil’s lack of interest in BRICS matter of concern


Financial Express (3 June, 2019): Why is it important for Brazil-India partnership to gain new impetus?


Financial Express (27 May, 2019): The crucial role of New Development Bank in the future of BRICS


The Wire (3 September, 2018): Race to the South: Is New Delhi Playing Catch-Up With Beijing in Africa?


The Peninsula (31 July, 2018): Can the BRICS propose a new development paradigm? 


Al Jazeera (25 July, 2018): Can the BRICS propose a new development paradigm?


Financial Times (5 September, 2017): New Development Bank is BRICS’ best card


Financial Express (8 August, 2017): Despite crisis, Venezuela and India to up investment in energy sector

Vazquez, K. and Kottam, V. 2021. The Impact of India’s Lines of Credito n the Future of India-Africa partnership in Agriculture. In Renu Modi and Meera Venkatachalam (Eds): India-Africa Partnerships for Food Security and Capacity Building. International Political Economy Series. London: Palgrave MacMillan.



4th December 2020: How can the US & Canada support Post-Covid Recovery in Latin America?”

On 4th December, the Centre for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) organized a virtual round table based on the paper by Prof. Kenneth Holland and Prof. Germán Morales Farah on “How can the US & Canada support Post-Covid Recovery in Latin America?”. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the socio-economic inequalities in Latin America. According to Prof. Holland and Moralez, there are two critical choices available to Latin America to steer its economy out of the crisis. They can either opt for a public sector model promoted by China that primarily depends on government borrowing and spending or choose to rely on a private sector model advocated by the United States and Canada, which emphasizes on investment by private companies. Prof. Holland underlines that by private sector model, they do not envision a model that shuns state support but rather one that fosters a business-like environment in the region. He lends credence to the United States and Canada given their proven track record in promoting private investment and business-friendly environment. The webinar concluded with a brief and engaging discussion by the speakers with the panelists-Ambassador Ravi Bangar, Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez, Hari Seshasayee, Prof. Hebatallah Adam, Prof. Sebastian Cutrona, and Sumalatha KC.


12th September, 2020 – Liberation Under Siege—a documentary by Priya Prabhakar, Reva Kreeger and Sabrina Meléndez.

On 12th September, CALACS organized the screening of Liberation Under Siege—a documentary by Priya Prabhakar, Reva Kreeger and Sabrina Meléndez. The film depicts the life of Cubans in the aftermath of trade embargo imposed by the United States for the past 60 years. It traces the journey of ten Cubans from different walks of life sharing their experiences and survival stories. The film gives a glimpse into their lives, who despite dealing with the economic and political hostility from the U.S, have embraced their conditions, and continue to uphold their national pride and freedom. The documentary also represented the resilience shown by Cubans in being an anti-imperialist force as well as in endorsing their socialist values. The three filmmakers—Prabhakar, a designer and researcher; Kreeger, a history and community studies graduate; and Melendez, a genderqueer activist and artist—held an enriching student interaction post-screening of the film. The filmmakers provided a social lens in viewing the current scenario of Cuba. They stated that despite the situation being bleak, they still see a ray of hope, just like los compayes en Cuba.


CALACS produces and disseminates policy-oriented research to advance knowledge and support policy-making on issues affecting ALAC countries, their relations with India, and policy coalitions and institutions of the Global South (i.e. IBSA, BRICS and NDB). In order to achieve this goal, CALACS partners with other JGU research centers and institutions working with/in ALAC countries to establish joint research frameworks, faculty exchange programs, and international publication ventures. CALACS publishes monthly newsletters containing analyses of current events in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean by CALACS analysts and guest experts.

CALACS also publishes two series: Working Papers, which highlight scholarly research on ALAC countries; and Policy Papers, which focuses on current issues in public policy. JGU faculty and students, invited guests, and associate institutions and individuals are encouraged to submit their work for publication through the CALACS Working Papers series. CALACS Policy Papers series are a product of CALACS research programs or independent, on-demand advisory services provided by CALACS faculty and associate institutions and individuals to partner governments, donor agencies and other entities.

  • Cross-university and external partnerships
  • Faculty exchange programs (research and teaching fellowships)
  • Monthly newsletters, working and policy papers, and international publications.


CALACS policy brief series “Beyond Aid and the Future of Development Cooperation”

  • Policy or no policy: what lies ahead for India’s development cooperation? Author: Hima Bindu (Click Here)
  • Ministry of International Development Cooperation: the way forward. Author: Shantanu Kanade (Click Here)
  • Impact of lines of credit in India’s Development Cooperation. Author: Vyshali Kottam (Click Here)
  • Engaging and partnering with civil society and non-sate organizations. Author: Aparna Raman (Click Here)
  • Technology Transfer: North-South or South-South?. Author: Sanjana Medipally (Click Here)


CALACS working paper series “Beyond Aid and the Future of Development Cooperation”

  • The China-Mozambique Project of Agricultural Technology Transfer under WAADL: How does it fit into the South-South Cooperation Debate? Author: Derio Chirindza (Click Here)
  • The implications of the resettlement strategy of the Vale-Mozambique project on the local communities in the Tete Province. Author: Issufo Dias (Click Here)
  • Understanding capacity development in South-South Cooperation. Author: Hima Bindu (Click Here)
  • Barefoot College and capacity development in South-South Cooperation. Author: Kanika Khasrbanda (Click Here)
  • Technology Transfer: North-South or South-South? Author: Sanjana Medipally (Click Here)
  • Lightning a billion lives: a model for South-South Technology Transfer. Author: Shantanu Kanade (Click Here)


Project: Future of India’s Development Cooperation

India has provided development cooperation to its neighbours in South Asia since the early 1950s. The program has expanded exponentially in recent years, and now involves more than US$2.5 billion in technical and financial cooperation annually to nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

However, public debate on India’s development cooperation remains limited. With the creation of the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in 2012, public expectations were high that the new agency would play a lead role in formulating and developing a new policy framework and agenda for the country’s development cooperation. In the years since it was formed, the DPA has emerged more as an administrative organ of the MEA rather one designed or tasked with shaping India’s bilateral cooperation policy, institutional set-up and delivery modalities. In addition to DPA, India’s development cooperation includes a number of public and private institutions which would also benefit from more coordinated strategies, management systems and budgets for Indian development cooperation.

While the current arrangement may continue to provide strategic flexibility in administering India’s development cooperation, over the longer term and as Development Cooperation portfolio grows larger, Indian development cooperation will begin to require a well-articulated policy framework and eventually a formal policy. What should such a policy look like? Beyond geo-political interests, what factors should influence India’s development cooperation objectives, internal accountability and institutional arrangements? 

Objective of the project

To examine these and other emerging issues, the Asia Foundation and O.P. Jindal Global University through the School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) and the Centre for African Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) at the School of International Affairs (JSIA) have partnered on a graduate student project for the development of a “draft White Paper” on the future of India’s development cooperation policy.    

It is expected that this paper will form the basis for initiating dialogue and discussions on formulating a development cooperation policy from India with Indian scholars and government-connected think tanks. The paper and subsequent discussions provoked by it can deepen understanding on the parameters of India’s cooperation program and the ways and means to better strengthen and improve its selection, delivery and monitoring mechanisms.

The project runs from January-June 2017 and comprises three building blocks: 

 Building block 1 – Capacity development (led by CALACS-JSIA in collaboration with JSGP)

This building block aims to further strengthen policy-oriented research capacity at Jindal Global University. The students selected for the capstone project are required to simultaneously complete the elective course “Beyond aid and the future of development cooperation,” offered by Prof Karin Costa Vazquez as part of CALACS-JSIA diploma of specialization in development cooperation. All students enrolled in the course are required to write case studies on international experience in conceiving and managing development cooperation that could inspire India’s own efforts and inform the draft White Paper. The country case studies are part of students’ mid-term assessment and will accompany the draft White Paper. All students enrolled in the course are also required to produce a policy brief as part of their final assessment. The policy briefs will serve as an input for the draft White Paper. The country case studies and the policy briefs will form CALACS’s first policy paper and working paper series.


Building block 2 – Dialogue exchange (led by JSGP in collaboration with CALACS-JSIA)

This building block aims to strengthen knowledge exchange between students and Indian and foreign diplomats and experts, feed into the elective course, and further prepare students for the capstone project. The public lecture series comprise: i) guest lectures by renowned Indian and global thinkers/leaders on topics like global architecture for development cooperation, key challenges for Indian development cooperation, and international experiences, as part of the elective course “Beyond aid and the future of development cooperation,” offered by Prof Karin Costa Vazquez as part of CALACS-JSIA diploma of specialization in development cooperation; and ii) dialogues open to JGU community and invited guests. The first dialogue will bring selected experts from Asia, Africa and Latin America (mainly from countries receiving Indian cooperation). The second dialogue will focus on the future of Indian Development Cooperation and specific elements of the draft White Paper.

Building block 3 – Policy research (led by JSGP in collaboration with CALACS-JSIA)

This building block aims at producing a draft White Paper on the future of India’s development cooperation. It consists in the production of the draft White Paper. This paper would be accompanied by the comparative country case studies [building block 1] and complemented by the policy briefs [building block 1] and discussions with Indian and foreign experts [building block 2]. The preparation of the draft White Paper involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods including an inception workshop, initial review of existing literature of India’s development cooperation; interviews and key informant interviews with public policy, academic and government experts working on development cooperation and foreign policy issues. The final draft White Paper will be presented to a panel of invited experts at the end of the Spring Semester. The final version of the paper will be launched in New Delhi during a dissemination seminar.  

JGU Faculty Advisors

Student Team

Aditya Vasishtha      

Amika Bawa                

Anchal Agarwal      

Ankita Singh      

Aparna Raman                

Dionisio Josais Missomal      

Hima Bindu Karibuktha      

Kanika Kharbanda               

Vyshali Kottam      

Shantanu Kanade      


Marking 70 years of India Brazil Relationship, the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies at O.P. Jindal Global University, India, and the Embassy of Brazil in Delhi invited essay submissions from scholars, practitioners, students and enthusiasts. The competition aimed to challenge ones’ ability  to demonstrate innovative ideas towards advancing India Brazil relations in areas like science, technology and innovation; trade and investments; defence; sustainable development and poverty reduction; governance; multilateral cooperation; and people to people exchange. Submissions were reviewed by a Jury of Experts

Winning submissions were featured in a publication shared with embassies and disseminated through seminars in Brazil and India, providing potential scope for advanced engagement in the field.

Submissions are closed. “Brazil-India Relations Beyond the 70 Years is launched.

Vazquez, K. (org). 2019. Brazil-India Relations beyond the 70 years. Brasília. Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão, Ministry of External Relations of Brazil.


Building Infrastructure for 21st Century Sustainable Development: Lessons and Opportunities for the BRICS-led New Development Bank

The world’s infrastructure gap is currently estimated to be an astronomical US$ 90 trillion by 2030. Recognizing this shortfall of resources will be particularly significant in emerging markets, governments of the BRICS countries decided in 2015 to create their own financial institution, the New Development Bank (NDB).

The NDB’s aspiration to meet the vast and unfulfilled infrastructure requirements of its member countries, whilst retaining a deliberate focus on sustainable development, represents a bold departure from approaches currently followed by its counterpart institutions. The NDB’s efforts to promote what it broadly labels as ‘sustainable infrastructure’ is thus both welcome and laudable.

However, as an institution that is now only in its second year of operation, and which is still in the process of pioneering its own unique approach to development financing, the NDB will no doubt be confronted with a number of challenges along the way. Questions persist around how exactly the NDB will define, build, measure and monitor sustainable infrastructure, how it will incentivize investments in sustainable infrastructure and whether and how it will formalize its engagement with the many stakeholders both engaged in, and directly impacted by, the development process.

During this early phase of its existence, the NDB must plan around and account for these, as well as other, considerations. By doing so, the NDB will not only avoid replicating the mistakes of the very institutions and structures it seeks to challenge, but more importantly, it will enable it to pioneer a radically new approach to multilateral development financing.

The report Building sustainable infrastructure for 21st century sustainable development: lessons and opportunities for the BRICS-led New Development Bank – the result of the BRICS Sustainability Index project, a partnership between the Centre for Latin American and African Studies at O.P. Jindal University in India, Conectas Human Rights in Brazil and Fudan University in China – addresses some of these challenges and questions, and presents policy recommendations for a possible way forward for the NDB. To capture best practices and lessons of potential relevance to the NDB, twelve multilateral development institutions and organizations were benchmarked.

In addition, inputs were sought from a range of stakeholders – government officials, private sector representatives, civil society, development practitioners, policy analysts and others – through bilateral conversations, online consultations and policy discussions.   


Click here to read the full report  

To guide the NDB during its strategy implementation phase, the report seeks to provide concrete guidance on the following three areas:

  1. Understanding sustainable infrastructure: The report argues that that easiest way to define sustainable infrastructure is to build on the triple bottom-line of sustainable development that integrates economic, social and environmental performance, in addition to financial feasibility of the project. The emphasis on each pillar of the sustainable development triple bottom line needs to be nuanced to reflect each of the BRICS’ national development priorities. At the very least, however, sustainable infrastructure would need to abide with certain minimum, universally-agreed principles relating to the protection of human rights as well as the environment. Sustainable infrastructure should not be assumed to be synonymous with green or renewable energy projects, and neither should traditional, physical infrastructure be assumed to always be unsustainable.     

  2. Laying down the principles for sustainable development:

    a. Pragmatism, but not conformism: A pragmatic approach would involve focusing on projects that address local problems and assist countries in their transition to a low-carbon economy. A non-conformist approach involves recognizing that infrastructure projects are often designed and implemented in highly unequal settings in terms of distribution of political and economic power.

    b. Incentivize rather than regulate: Building on the experiences of the BRICS countries to design financial and other forms of incentives to promote sustainable infrastructure projects.

    c. Inclusive and bottom-up approach: Pre-empting potential conflict arising from infrastructure investment by establishing meaningful participation and consultation processes with civil society.

    d. Gender-responsiveness: Ensuring that a gender-responsive approach to sustainable infrastructure catalyzes positive and transformative development impacts for women.

    e. Strengthen country systems: Prioritizing the strengthening of country systems to ensure sustainable development, greater country ownership, and robust social and environmental management. Any use of country or corporate systems must still ensure a minimum level of social and environmental protection     

  3. Developing a model for assessing the sustainability of NDB’s infrastructure projects: Informed by the above principles, a model is presented to form the basis for the future creation of a composite index that assesses the sustainability of projects. The model would comprise the following three levels, and over time, criteria could be developed across each level:

    a. Strategic: Does the project enhance competitiveness, connectivity and openness? What is the project’s contribution to broader development objectives (including the Sustainable Development Goals)? Is the project designed to foster systemic innovation?

    b. Tactical level: Is Environmental, Social and Governance analysis applied in the project? Are corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethical and human rights standards used to assess private parties’ adherence to sustainability frameworks? Are country systems being strengthened?

    c. Operational level: Are safeguards capable of preventing harm to communities and the environment? How is compliance with safeguards ensured? What are the monitoring tools and indicators? Are fundamental rights being respected?

Building on the above, the report proposes the following recommendations to the NDB:

  • Create a NDB-CSO (academia, NGOs, etc) task force on sustainable infrastructure to elaborate indicators to assess the sustainability of NDB infrastructure projects;

  • Develop financial and non-financial incentives based on the degree of sustainability of NDB projects;

  • Establish a Centre of Excellence on sustainable infrastructure to generate and share knowledge, including through the hosting of a collaborative platform for MDBs and Southern stakeholders;

  • Develop a gender policy to proactively attract and retain female talent as well as to deepen women’s access to and control over economic resources;

  • Create a NDB-CSO reference group to institutionalize NDB’s engagement with civil society (academia, NGOs, etc) while retaining its lean structure;

  • Develop a plan for NDB-civil society interaction with dedicated budget to further consider and implement such reference group.

Over the next five years, the NDB will look to implement its inaugural five-year strategy. At this point, it remains unclear to what degree the NDB will succeed in redefining the contours the international development financing. New approaches, modalities and partnerships are on offer. Ambitions and aspirations run high, but these must now be matched with action on the ground. The NDB has an unprecedented opportunity to unlock new funding and catalyze a bold, new approach to development, both within the BRICS as well as other developing economies of the Global South. It must do it well, and it must do it right.


CALACS brings scholars, business, non-governmental and visitors who hail from ALAC countries and who live in India to JGU campus to participate in visiting speaker forums and other events. These individuals receive the designation CALACS Senior International Associate and become members of a thriving CALACS community of experts and practitioners. As a member of the CALACS community, these Senior International Associates may use the resources available at JGU to deepen interregional dialogue and cooperation while promoting ALAC studies across university. CALACS also participates in external events and engages in research and policy networks. CALACS is guided by an International Advisory Board that meets at least once a year to offer perspectives on Center activities, strategic directions, and opportunities for collaboration with institutions abroad. The International Advisory Board also provides critical insights into funding, policy-oriented research, and research uptake opportunities.

  • Monthly visiting speaker forums and other in-house/external events
  • Interaction with Business Forums and ALAC countries diplomatic missions in India.
  • International advisory board

9 December, 2020: Webinar “The increasing role of Asia in multilateral development finance.” The event was joined by Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez (JGU and Fudan University), Leslie Maasdorp (VP, New Development Bank), Joachim von Amsberg (VP, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and Martin Raiser (Director for China, World Bank) and organized by the Brazilian Center for International Relations. Available at:  

2 December, 2020: Webinar “Brazil, China and the new development banks: partnership for sustainable development?”The event was joined byProf. Karin Costa Vazquez and Sergio Suchodolski (President, Development Bank of the State of Minas Gerais) and organized by the China-Brazil Business Council. Available at: 

30 November, 2020: Webinar Latin America-India Economic Relations Prof. Karin Vazquez spoke at this webinar organized by the Working Group on South Asia / Committee on Asian Studies of the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI). The event was joined by Amb. Eduardo Sodous, Director of the Committee on Asia Studies, Amb. Dinesh Bhatia, Ambassador of India to Argentina, and prominent scholars from India and Latin America. Available at: 


27 November, 2020:  South-South Cooperation and Covid-19 responses of cross-border e-commerce SMEs in developing countries.’ The event was organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and watched by over 99,000 viewers from 22 countries including China, Brazil, Nepal, Nigeria, Ghana, and Portugal.  Available at:

Photos and Videos of the events hosted by CALACS

Events hosted by CALACS

19th September 2018: Reporting Global and International Relations: India’s presence in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean 

On 19th September 2018, Ms. Huma Siddiqui, senior correspondent at the Financial Express, was invited as a guest speaker for an interactive session co-organized by CALACS and the Jindal School of Journalism and Communications. Ms.  Sidiqqui addressed a hall of scholars and diplomats including the Argentine Ambassador to India, H.  E.  Daniel Chuburu. The session highlighted the various aspects that go under-reported in India’s relations with Africa  and  LAC,  and  the  need  to  engage  the  academic  community  in  these  regions.  Argentine Ambassador H.E.  Daniel Chuburu reflected upon the respect for the Indian community especially the Sikhs in Latin America. The interactive session fulfilled its aim in addressing what is news, fact checking, and reporting on international affairs with a focus on India, Africa and LAC.  These aspects lie at the core of any discipline today, given the merging of domestic with the international and the need to move regions beyond biases. Link to the session:

12th September 2018: CALACS at FICCI interactive session on India-Panama relations

On 12th September, CALACS facilitated the participation of five students in interactive session with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, H.E Mr.  Luis Miguel Hincapie, on India-Panama business and trade relations. Organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the session had remarks from Indian Joint Secretary Shayamal Misra, Department of Commerce, Ambassador of Panama, Dr.  Gustavo Garcia de Paredes and FICCI Deputy Secretary General and Head of International Affairs Division, Manish Singhal. The breadth and depth of the forum helped deepen the understanding of India-Panama relations and the scope for developing mutual ties between the two countries.  It further helped engage JGU student community to deliberate on India’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.   

11th April 2018: International Cooperation for Development:  Perspectives  from  the  Emerging  and  Developing  Countries

On the 11th of April, the Centre for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) organized the interactive session “International Cooperation for Development:  Perspectives from the Emerging and Developing Countries”.  Guest speakers Professor Kenneth King, visiting fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), and Professor Pravina King, former administrator of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, engaged with faculty  and  students  in  a  discussion  about  emerging  countries’  cooperation  for  human  development  resources  in  Africa. CALACS launched its first Working Paper Series “Beyond Aid and the Future of Development Cooperation”. The six working papers are available on CALACS website at:

28 February 2018: #At70: India-Brazil celebrating 70 years together 

On February 28, CALACS launched the essay competition #At70 on the account of 70 years of India-Brazil friendship. The essay competition is an innovative way for scholars, students, practitioners and enthusiasts to engage in a policy-based dialogue and shape the next 70 years of India-Brazil relations in areas like trade and investments; science, technology and innovation, defense; sustainable development and poverty alleviation; governance; multilateral cooperation; and people-to-people exchange. The launch of the essay competition had the presence of representative of the Embassy of Brazil in India and was followed by an interactive session by Mr. Shobhan Saxena, eminent journalist, scholar, and creator of the first and the only Indian carnival in Brazil.

BRICS Week at O.P. Jindal Global University, 21-24 August 2017

In the run up to the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiament, China (3-5 September, 2017), question marks on the future of the BRICS are reportedly raised. The Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) at Jindal School of International Affairs has organized a week-long series of events with scholars, practitioners and government officials in the BRICS countries to discuss some of the most pressing issues to the grouping and the future of development cooperation.

21 August 2017: Round-table ‘Towards the 9th BRICS Summit and Beyond’

The first event of the BRICS WEEK was a lively round table moderated by Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez with scholars and practitioners from China (Dr.Jiejin Zhu, Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University), Brazil (Mr. Caio Borges, Conectas Human Rights), and South Africa (Ms Faith Mabera, Institute for Global Dialogue) on the expected legacy of China’s current presidency of the BRICS; what can South African presidency in 2018 imprint for the next ten years of the grouping, and how can academia and think tanks support this process.

22-23 August, 2017: Workshop ‘What is the Future for Development Cooperation? Building Innovative and Inclusive South-South institutions.’

As influential voices in the global arena, BRICS countries also share the responsibility for implementing internationally agreed commitments on sustainable development and climate change. Institutions likethe New Development Bank (NDB) can play a central role in helping BRICS countries realize these commitments. This two-day workshop paved way to research spearheaded by CALACS in partnership with Conectas Human Rights, the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University, and the BRICS Feminist Watch, while offering a space for broad-based consultation and pragmatic contribution to shaping the future of international cooperation for development.

24-25 August 2017: Delhi Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

The BRICS WEEK concluded with CALACS participation in the Delhi Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation, organized by the Indian think-tank Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries in partnership with the United Nations and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez brought her insights on some of the most pressing issues to the future of development cooperation in the panel on impact assessment in South-South Cooperation. “Southern countries took a long time to engage in discussions on monitoring and evaluating South-South cooperation. Multiple frameworks are being proposed by think-tanks,governments and non-governmental organizations. We need to find a minimum common ground and build on it,” said Prof. Vazquez. This is an urgent step to measure countries’ contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals based on the perspectives and voices of the Global South, she added.

Inaugural class of the CALACS-JSIA elective course Political Economy of Latin America, 14 August 2017

For the inaugural lecture of the elective course Political Economy of Latin America we have screened the movie ‘City of God’, the story of two young boys who grew up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro and decided to follow different paths: one becomes a photographer…and the other, a drug dealer.The movie illustrated the main goal of the elective course: familiarize students with contemporary debates on Latin American economic and political development and its social effects. After the movie we had a lively debate with CALACS students who did internships in Brazil. This inaugural class was open to all of the JGU community.    

Evaluation Workshop of India’s Development Cooperation – 14 August 2017.

The Asia Foundation and O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), through the School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) and Jindal School of International Affairs’ Centre for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS), have partnered on a graduate student-led project for the development of a draft “White Paper” on the future of India’s Development Cooperation. Following the success of the inception workshop that sowed the seeds of this academic journey earlier this March, an evaluative workshop was conducted as the project is nearing its fruition. The workshop’s intended purpose was to give critical feedback on the research work undertaken by the 10 students in devising a draft ‘White Paper’ since the inception.The workshop had the much-valued presence of Mr. Sagar Prasai, The Asia Foundation’s country representative for India and Dr. Milindo Chakrabarti, visiting fellow at the think tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) along with faculty mentors from JGU Professor & Dean of JSGP Sudarshan Ramaswamy, JSIA Assistant Dean for Global Engagements and CALACS Executive Director, Professor Karin Costa Vazquez, Vice Dean of JSGP, Professor Vinod Vyasulu, Dr. Clarence Dias, and the students.

CALACS in the cities of São Paulo and Fortaleza, Brazil – June and July, 2017.

Ms. Amika Bawa, a master’s student from JSIA has been selected as a Research Analyst for the ‘BRICS Sustainability Index’ project, carried out by CALACS in partnership with Conectas. The project has offered Ms. Amika Bawa of a fully funded internship opportunity at Conectas Office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.Ms. Sanjana Medipally and Ms. Aakanksha Lohia – Bachelor students of JSIA were selected as the Program Officers for the ‘Doing Business in Latin America and Caribbean’ project, an initiative by CALACS in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industries and the Brasil Africa Institute. The initiative offered the students a partially funded internship at the Brasil Africa Institute offices in Sao Paulo and Fortaleza, Brazil

CII Interactive Session with Indian Ambassadors & High Commissioners in the Latin American & Caribbean Region – May 3, 2017.

CALACS participated in an Interactive Session with Indian Ambassadors & High Commissioners in the Latin American & Caribbean region organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry on 3 May, 2017. The session focused on understanding the business opportunities, issues and concerns of doing business in Latin America and the Caribbean whilst identifying how these concerns may be addressed.

CII Interactive Session with Indian Ambassadors & High Commissioners in Africa – May 3, 2017.

CALACS participated in an Interactive Session with Indian Ambassadors & High Commissioners in Africa organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry on May 3 2017. The session focused on understanding the business opportunities, issues and concerns of doing business in Africa whilst identifying how these concerns may be addressed.

JGUMUN 2017 panel on “Human Rights for All: Gender Equality and Status of Refugees” 31 March – 2 April, 2017

A Model United Nations conference is a simulation of the proceedings that take place at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York and is regarded as a form of enriching participants with experience in public speaking and diplomacy. In pursuit of its long-term goal of promoting a global perspective, O.P. Jindal Global University organized the second edition of its Model UN conference. JGUMUN17 attracted 320 delegates from more than 60 schools and universities from across India, helping consolidate a culture of debate and active engagement of students in world affairs.

Shri Anand Sharma, Deputy Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha and Former Minister of Commerce, Government of India gave the keynote speech at the opening ceremony. He was followed by an engaging panel ‘Human Rights for All: Gender Equality and Status of Refugees’ co-organized by CALACS and the JGU MUN Society. The panel comprised diplomats from the Embassy of Brazil and the Embassy of Libya in India, Dr Clarence Dias, President of the Institute for Law in Development (New York), and was moderated by Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez, Assistant Dean for Global Engagement at JSIA and faculty advisor for JGU MUN 2017.

Inception Workshop of India’s Development Cooperation – 27th March, 2017.

On 27th March, 2017, the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) and the Jindal School International Affairs (JSIA) organized a one-day inception workshop intended to discuss and guide the students developing the draft ‘White Paper.’ The workshop had the presence of Mr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), Dr. Milindo Charkrabarti, visiting fellow at RIS and Ms. Mandakini Surie, The Asia Foundation, all whose extensive experience in development policy and practice was valuable to the discussion. The workshop was also attended by faculty mentors from JGU Professor & Dean of JSGP Sudarshan Ramaswamy, Professor Vinod Vyasulu, Vice Dean of JSGP, Professor Karin Costa Vazquez, Assistant Dean for Global Engagements JSIA and head of CALACS, and Professor Clarence Dias, an external resource person, along with the 10 student team for the project. The discussion expressed the need for articulating a different path for India, away from the traditional frameworks of cooperation. The scope and potential role for the Development Partnership Administration (DPA), Ministry of External Affairs, as an inclusive and instrumental framework in analyzing India’s development cooperation was discussed positively.

Talk by Mr. Raj Chengappa, Editorial Director of India Today Group, on Role and Impact of the Media on Foreign Policy, 6th March, 2017.

Mr. Raj Chengappa shared with us his views on media and foreign policy at a seminar talk hosted by the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies at O.P. Jindal Global University. He engaged students and faculty with touching anecdotes, witnessed as a young journalist travelling the globe.

Mr. Raj Chengappa spoke of the need to form connections between countries and its people, while questioning the need to study foreign events. Why would India be interested in the events occurring in South Africa? How would an average Indian reader engage with the economic concerns of Argentina or Venezuela? It is here that the role of media becomes apparent, to make issues of a foreign land relevant and relatable to the common man.

Foreign Relations, Mr. Chengappa pointed out, are much like human relations and thus it becomes the duty of a journalist to empower the individual through efficient knowledge dissemination. CALACS works towards taking this message forward, a step at a time, to bridge the knowledge gap when it comes to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean countries.

Open Class: Beyond Aid and The Future of Development Cooperation by Dr. Emma Mawdsley on India’s Development Cooperation, 28 February, 2017.

Dr. Emma Mawdsley, University of Cambridge, was an invited guest for the elective course, Beyond Aid and the Future of Development Cooperation, taught by Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez at O.P Jindal Global University. Dr. Mawdsley has worked on environmental and regional politics in India, and more recently focusing her work on South–South Development Cooperation, in particular interest to Indian Development Partnerships.

Dr. Mawdsley’s lecture highlighted the generations of India’s development Initiatives – from the Nehruvian era to the Modi Effect, and the evolution of South-South cooperation itself. She also broke down binary distinctions between the West–Rest narrative and expanded upon the new power relations that surpass the ‘gift theory’ logic of development cooperation.

Development Cooperation models of India, China and Brazil were discussed while the role of Civil Society Organizations for policy level contribution was put forth.

The class, open to all students and faculty of JGU, was a step in the direction of better understanding the trends in South–South Cooperation and contributed towards the charting of a Draft White Paper for India’s Development Cooperation, Capstone Project initiative of JSIA-CALACS, JSGP and Asia Foundation.

Public Lecture: Africa and Latin America: space for dialogue and business opportunities (6 January, 2017, Jindal Global University)

The public lecture analyzed the current momentum of economic relations between Latin America (especially South America) and African countries taking into account the market potential and mutual opportunities for companies on both sides. The ensuing debate helped enhance participants’ understanding of management models already implemented by the countries of the South, where not only successful results are taken into account, but also failures and lessons learned. The public lecture was given by Dr. João Bosco Monte, President of the Brazil Africa Institute (Fortaleza, Brazil) and had the participation of 60 students from JGU School of International Affairs, Public Policy, and law, faculty members and students from the Association of African Students in India (AASI).

Special Session at the BRICS Civil Forum: Briefing for Students on BRICS Process by RIS in partnership with Jindal School of International Affairs (3-4 October 2016, India Habitat Center, New Delhi)

JSIA organized a Special Briefing on BRICS Process at the BRICS Civil Forum in collaboration with Ministry of ExternalAffairs (MoEA) and the Indian think tank Research & Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). The special session was attended by 80 JSIA BA and MA students, featured Ambassador Yogendra Kumar, Joint Secretary Alok Simri, and the Deputy Heads of Mission from the Brazilian, Russian, and South African Embassies in Delhi, and was moderated by Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez. The launch of Jindal Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS)was announced during the Special Briefing. JSIA students also participated in the other sessions of the Civil BRICSForum, enhancing their knowledge on global issues, increasing their exposure to specialists in the field, and expanding their networking opportunities. Students’ engagement was commended as a model for future Civil BRICS Fora. Academic exchanges and joint research initiatives among BRICS institutions with the aim of developing future BRICS leaders were also included in the final declaration forwarded to the Presidents of the BRICS countries during the BRICS Summit (15-16 October, Goa).


CALACS facilitates study abroad, research fellowships, winter/summer courses and other forms of student exchange programs to/from associate research institutions in ALAC countries to increase JGU students international exposure. With the aim to enhance JGU students learning, CALACS integrates theory with practice by organizing field visits and participation in international events (i.e. BRICS Civil Forum) as well as facilitating internships and part-time academic employment (assistantships) in fields related to the areas of focus of the Center. CALACS also offers advanced studies modules and teaching methods designed to raise the profile of African, Latin America and Caribbean studies in the field of International Relations in India. In 2016-2017 two courses were offered to JGU students: “Economics IV – International Economic Development: Sustainable Development Strategies”; and “Beyond Aid and the Future of Development Cooperation.” “In 2017-2018 CALACS is offering the course Political Economy of Latin America”
  • Student exchange programs (study abroad, research fellowships, short courses)
  • Internships and part-time academic employment (assistantships)
  • Bachelors, Masters and PhD–level coursework and field visits     

Students’ Testimonials

Amika Bawa (MA – DLB 2016)

Clicking the heels of my red ruby shoes and walking down the yellow BRICS road, July 2017 was a journey to the land of Brazil. Under a partnership between the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) and Conectas Direitos Humanos for the BRICS Sustainability Index, I travelled fully funded to Brazil to conduct field research towards the project that aimed to lay down a development-financing framework for new International Financial Institutions like the New Development Bank.

With a month-long research agenda, packed with meeting experts, academicians and government officials, each day was a step closer to understanding how the challenges faced by the BRICS countries are similar in their aspirations to develop yet contextually unique. Each engagement opened the door to understanding how infrastructure development can be made a mission towards sustainable development.  Adding to this, I engaged with the small but thriving Indian diaspora in Brazil.

Feeling welcomed, as I would at home, Brazil gave me a family in a far of land, doused me in its unique culture and gave me one of the most enthralling experiences, especially in the realisation that avocadoes can be as big as my face, cost less than a dollar and be one of the best desserts (yes desserts!) there can be! While Dorothy found her way back home from Oz, I found a new one, in a land that has a beautiful blend of heart in its welcome, courage in meeting its challenges, and knowledge that will form my bridge back to it.   

Sanjana Medipally (B.A. Hons. GA-2015) and Aakanksha Lohia (B.A. GA-2016)

The Center for African Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) has given us a wonderful opportunity to work as Program Officers for its executive training program- ‘Doing business in Latin America’, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Brazil-Africa Institute (Fortaleza, Brazil).

 This partially funded internship was by far the most important thing we have done when it comes to our careers. We conducted field research in the states of São Paulo and Fortaleza, Brazil, over the month of July 2018. First-hand research was carried out from the Brazil-Africa Institute, where we were exposed to the office atmosphere and taught how to behave in a workplace. The experience also enhanced our communication and research skills as we interviewed company executives, advocates, government officials, and investment experts.

Paired with cultural experience and traveling on the weekends, this internship was a great means to acquire work experience while taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity abroad.

Karin Costa Vazquez

Karin Costa Vazquez


Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez

CALACS Executive Director

Assistant Dean for Global Engagements and AssistantProfessor, Jindal School of International Affairs