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 :
- African, Latin American and Caribbean (ALAC) countries relations with India
- ALAC countries, India and the Global South: interregional policy coalitions and institutions
- 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 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 levels of development 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.