SHYAM SARAN

People > Shyam Saran

SHYAM SARAN

Ambassador Shyam Saran is a career diplomat born on September 4, 1946. Since joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1970, he has served in several capitals of the world including Beijing, Tokyo and Geneva. He has been India’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Indonesia and Nepal and High Commissioner to Mauritius. In the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, he headed the Economic Division and the Multilateral Economic Division and also headed the East Asia Division which handles relations with China and Japan. As a Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office in 1991/92, he advised the Prime Minister on foreign policy, nuclear and defence related issues. After a career spanning 34 years in the Indian Foreign Service, he was appointed India’s Foreign Secretary in 2004 and held that position till his retirement from service in September 2006. Subsequent to his retirement, he was appointed Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues and later as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change.

He has now concluded his assignment in Government and returned to being a private citizen. During his last two assignments, Ambassador Saran served as Prime Minister’s personal representative or “Sherpa” at the Gleneagles and St. Petersburg G8+G5 summits and was present at the Toyako  and L’Aquila Summits as an advisor on Climate Change issues. He also attended the Pittsburgh G-20 summit as a member of the Indian delegation. 

Currently, he serves as Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, which is an autonomous think tank specializing in studies on economic and trade related issues. He is also  a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Policy Research, a prestigious think tank which covers a wide range of political, social and economic issues, including foreign policy related issues. He speaks and writes regularly on a variety of subjects.

On January 26, 2011, Ambassador Saran was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India for his contribution to Civil Service. The Padma Bhushan is the third highest national award in the country. Ambassador Saran holds a post-Graduate degree in Economics. He speaks Hindi, English and Chinese and is conversant in French.



China’s strategy of economic self-reliance, under label of ‘dual circulation’, has been sharpened by pandemic
31 Aug 2020

In a recent statement, President Xi Jinping has said that “dual circulation” is by no means a closed domestic loop and reaffirmed that opening up was a fundamental national policy.

The Interview with Karan Thapar
27 Aug 2020

Continuing Chinese Intrusion Very Worrying, Modi’s Response Took Pressure Off Beijing: Shyam Saran

National Security Conversations
16 Aug 2020

Dr. Happymon Jacob speaks to Amb. Shyam Saran on contemporary Indian Foreign policymaking.

Dealing with ‘Frankenstein’
28 Jul 2020

A dangerous twist in the relations between China and the US

India should monitor ties between China and Iran, but must guard against hasty conclusions
23 Jul 2020

The pursuit of a closer security partnership with the US does not mean that India should follow the US lead on its other important relationships.

Democratic India has an ideological battle to fight with China
08 Jul 2020

The future of democracy in Asia and the world may well be determined by choices India makes.

Understanding the Line of Actual Control with Shyam Saran
02 Jul 2020

Srinath Raghavan is joined by Shyam Saran as they discuss the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the Sino-Indian border. They discuss how the LAC impacts and is impacted by the relationship between New Delhi and Beijing.

India's strategic and security challenges post Galwan | SAM Conversations
25 Jun 2020

C Uday Bhaskar, Amb. Shyam Saran and Admiral Arun Prakash dwell on the nature of the military and politico-diplomatic challenges that New Delhi has to address in context of the India-China faceoff & bloody clashes.

Clash in eastern Ladakh: A historical perspective
21 Jun 2020

Among other things, a crystallisation of our political and security arrangements with countries which share our concerns over China's aggressive posture is required.

Chinese aggression not a coincidence: Shyam Saran
20 Jun 2020

There is no coincidence. China’s assertiveness is based on its judgement that the US, which it considers its chief rival and adversary, is a power in relative decline;

As the LAC heats up, reading China’s playbook
02 Jun 2020

It is aiming to change facts on the ground, incrementally alter the balance of power, and assert its dominance

Former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran On Tension Between India And China Along LAC
27 May 2020

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran spoke on length about the ongoing tension between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Chinese reaction may be a warning so that India sides with it on Covid, Taiwan, says ex-foreign secy Shyam Saran
24 May 2020

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran was PM’s Special Envoy,

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Will the pandemic lead to a shift in the global order?
19 May 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis of an unprecedented nature that is reshaping the global order. Countries are grappling to control the spread of the disease by announcing lockdowns and closing borders.

China's digital currency moves
13 May 2020
pdf

With pilot runs for a digital yuan underway, its monetary system could well become an exemplar for other countries.

Inner turmoil taking place in China, but change in leadership unlikely
21 Apr 2020

Inner turmoil taking place in China, but change in leadership unlikely

Beijing’s response to Covid underlines that the world needs more democracy, not less
20 Apr 2020

There is no escaping the fact that COVID-19 may not have become a pandemic if China were a democracy with a free flow of information through an independent media and accountable political leadership.

World won’t be the same again
31 Mar 2020

Covid aftermath will reinforce the trend towards a more interventionist State.

A revival of multilateralism, steered by India
25 Mar 2020

A leadership role by India in mobilising world collaboration would be in keeping with its traditional activism globally

Going regional
21 Mar 2020

Covid-19 nudges India to pursue regional cooperation through both SAARC and BIMSTEC

The fall into infamy
13 Mar 2020

India’s image and credibility are taking a beating, and it does matter

Covid-19 is sign of an ecological crisis
09 Mar 2020

Dealing with it as if it were a singular phenomenon occurring in a single domain will not work

Time for a G20 summit on coronavirus
04 Mar 2020

The world is facing a public health and economic crisis, with major implications for global stability.

There is an asymmetry at the heart of India’s complex engagement with the world
02 Mar 2020

India is in the vortex of the multiple transitions the world is going through. We have entered a new decade of its own mix of promise and peril.

A visit like no other
27 Feb 2020

It would be wrong to say there was no substance to Trump's India tour. In fact, the mutual pay-off was significant.

Keep the RCEP option open
10 Feb 2020

By not joining the trading arrangement, India risks becoming a rule taker rather than a rule maker

View: Ominous signs for India as China regains pole position in Myanmar
24 Jan 2020

As an ASEAN country, Myanmar is also India’s gateway to South-East Asia. No Act East policy is possible without Myanmar’s active participation.

With Rajapaksa’s back at helm, past must not shadow India-Lanka ties
30 Nov 2019

Shyam Saran expressed deep disappointment in India’s decision to pull out of the RCEP and underlined that despite similar domestic arguments the decision of the Narsimha Rao government to liberalise the economy in 1991.

India, Nepal must seek mutually acceptable solutions to controversy over new Map
27 Nov 2019

The India-Nepal border is unique in that neither country has allowed a political boundary to interrupt the age-old traffic of people who share ties of kinship, religion and culture.

India’s place in ‘Indo-Pacific’
05 Nov 2019

Our influence is expanding, but the term is devoid of real operational significance.

Balancing the poles
12 Jun 2019

As US-China competion intensifies, India should refrain from taking sides.

Technology will drive the new Cold War
12 Jun 2019

It is now the currency of power - one with ominous implications for India.

A Tough Neighbourhood | Foreign Policy
25 May 2019

The new government must continue to strengthen relations with the United States, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia as part of countervailing and constraining Chinese power.

How serious is China's economic slowdown?
10 Jan 2019
pdf

Losing this engine, which has been shoring up global growth, may be more disruptive than we imagine

Book Review: Francois Bougan: Inside the Mind of Xi Jinping
21 Nov 2018

Mr Xi has introduced major departures from this approach.

India has to balance pressures from U.S., China and Russia
17 Oct 2018

The former Foreign Secretary on the difficult waters in which India must chart its independent strategic trajectory.

Internationalisation of Chinese currency
09 Oct 2018

China, a large importer of Iranian oil, is likely to use its petro-yuan to bypass payment in dollars. This may offer India a possible solution.

Book Review: A God in Exile: The Fourteenth Dalai Lama
14 Sep 2018
pdf

Introductory section concludes with a picture of Jawaharlal Nehru with a young Dalai Lama at Teen Murti House in 1964 just before Nehru died

Opting out of RCEP may push India on the margins of Asia
05 Sep 2018

India cannot sustain an expanding political and security role in the Indo-Pacific with a shrinking economic role.

Trade wars are no longer about trade
31 Jul 2018
pdf

Trump has created an opportunity for China to make common cause with American allies both in Asia and Europe. But in the long run, India’s relations with China will remain competitive in nature...

With a US-China trade war likely, India must reposition itself as an investment destination
29 May 2018

This will require a major policy overhaul away from the lurch towards populism that is becoming more evident as general elections loom large. .

The Wuhan window
03 May 2018

Modi-Xi summit gives India the chance to expand its diplomatic options in the neighbourhood and beyond.

Enter the Dragon
15 Feb 2018

The domestic political crisis in the Maldives may have created fewer waves in India.

China’s Quest for Global Leadership
31 Jan 2018
Download

This paper analyses the emerging global order where China aspires to be a key player and how handling of these seminal challenges will determine the prospects of its quest for global leadership.

India-Asean ties: A cup half full?
24 Jan 2018

Despite the great strides made, India-Asean relations have not measured up to expectations. There continue to be significant asymmetries in this expanding engagement.

Supply Side Economics with Chinese Characteristics
01 Sep 2017

This paper analyses the supply side economic reforms in China by taking the Third Plenum of the 18th Congress Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in November 2013 as its starting point.

Doklam Standoff: Develop Good Ties with South Asian Neighbours to Counter China
27 Jul 2017

Just as Beijing has sown discord among Asean members through intimidation and blandishments, it’s trying to do the same in India’s neighbourhood

Book Review
19 Jul 2017
pdf

China, US and manifest destinies

The standoff in Doklam
04 Jul 2017

Avoid a slide towards confrontation

Renminbi’s growing global influence
13 Jun 2017
pdf

Internationalisation of Chinese currency remains on track despite recent stalling

Trump knocks down Paris pact
03 Jun 2017

America's much-anticipated announcement to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement finally came

In Year Four, Modi’s Foreign Policy Needs Some Course Correction
29 May 2017

The overall strategy underlying Modi’s foreign policy is sound.he challenge going forward must take into account the changed global geopolitical terrain.

Looking China in the eye
22 May 2017

India needs an alternative narrative which contests the inevitability of Chinese hegemony

Democracy, pluralism and cosmopolitanism can put India in a...
09 May 2017

The world is at an inflexion point from which a new order of power could emerge.

India must shape a new world order
04 May 2017

Should try and shape multipolar order with the support of other major powers...

चीन की वैश्विक आर्थिक रणनीतिः एशिया, भारत और विश्व पर असर
15 Oct 2015

OBOR का मक़सद केवल भौतिक मूलढाँचा ही तैयार करना नहीं है, बल्कि यह तो इस पहल का अभिन्न अंग है।

What does China’s Global Economic Strategy mean for Asia, India and the World?
09 Oct 2015

OBOR is not just an economic initiative. It has obvious political and security implications.

Experience

Current Positions

    • Member, ICS Governing Council
    • Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)
    • Member, Board of Trustees, WWF (India)
    • Member, Aspen Group on India-US Relations
    • Member, India-China-US Trilateral, organized by CPR, Brookings and CICIR

Past Positions

    • Chairman, National Security Advisory Board (till January, 2015)
    • Independent Director, Indian Oil and ONGC (V) (Till June, 2015)
    • Co-Chair, ASEAN-India Eminent Persons’ Group (2010-2012)

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