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  • Uttam Kumar Sinha

    Senior Fellow
    +91 11 2671 7983

    Uttam Kumar Sinha is a leading scholar and commentator on transboundary rivers, climate change and the Arctic. He was Co-Chair of the Think-20 Task Force on ‘Accelerating SDGs: Exploring New Pathways to the 2030 Agenda’ during India’s G20 Presidency.

    After a brief stint in the print media and a doctoral degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, he joined the MP-IDSA in 2001, where he coordinates the Non-Traditional Security Centre and is the Managing Editor of Strategic Analysis published by Routledge, the institute’s flagship journal.

    He is a recipient of many fellowships and leadership programmes including senior fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (2018-2020); US-South Asia Leader Engagement Programme at the Harvard Kennedy School (2015); Chevening ‘Gurukul’ leadership at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2008) and a visiting fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (2006).

    His recently published work is BBIN Sub-Region: Perspectives on Climate-water-Energy Nexus (Pentagon Press, 2023), Indus Basin Interrupted: A History of Territory and Politics from Alexander to Nehru (Penguin, 2021). His other works include the Riverine Neighbourhood: Hydro-politics in South Asia (Pentagon Press, 2016) and Climate Change Narratives: Reading the Arctic (2014). His edited and co-edited volumes include Modi: Shaping a Global Order in Flux (Wisdom Tree, 2023); MODI 2.0: A Resolve To Secure India (Pentagon Press, 2021); The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in India’s Foreign Policy (Wisdom Tree, 2016); Non-Traditional Security Challenges in Asia: Approaches and Responses (Routledge, 2015); Arctic: Commerce, Governance and Policy (Routledge, 2015) and Emerging Strategic Trends in Asia (Pentagon Press, 2015).

    Other publications

    Select Publications

    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Uttam Sinha's article 'Water and its Complex Relationship with Peace' has been published in the annual bilingual peer-reviewed journal Perspective, Vol. IV, 2024.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      June 20, 2024
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Uttam Sinha's views on the Shahpurkandi Dam on the Ravi River has been published in Third Pole on 09 March 2024. Views of Dr Erum Sattar from Pakistan were also published.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      March 09, 2024
      IDSA News
      • Publisher: Pentagon Press
      Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) are home to 21 per cent of the world’s population. With projected economic growth in the BBIN countries, a consequent increase in the demand for electricity and heavy dependence on fossil fuels are expected despite the pitch for renewable energy. The region also faces unprecedented climate change, particularly in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, the cradle of major sub-continental rivers, and where melting glaciers, unpredictable weather conditions, and rainfall patterns are affecting the life of millions and instigating frequent natural disasters. Since 2014, India has tried to maximise sub-regional interaction with the aim of promoting cooperation in the economic, social, cultural and scientific fields. This has opened new thinking and opportunities, complementing the pace of globalisation and liberalisation. The fear, of course, is that this approach can easily dissipate in the face of security complexities and political difficulties.

      The climate-water-energy nexus is now a familiar concept in the resource management debate requiring long-sighted approaches that help avoid maladaptive pathways and, as a tool, to anticipate the tilt and balance of the nexus resources and the nature of their interactions. The nexus as a policy approach brings together the concept of ‘security and sustainability’. However, the framing of the nexus around a scarcity crisis narrative often pushes states towards control and possessiveness of the resources rather than driving them towards stability and durability solutions. Beyond this framework, a more nuanced political–economy understanding of the BBIN sub-region is essential.

      • ISBN: 9788195189458 ,
      • Price: ₹ 995/-
      • E-copy available
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Uttam Kumar Sinha's piece ‘Indus Waters Treaty: Looking Back, Looking Ahead’ has been published in National Strategy on 19 September 2023.

      The best option for India is to fulfil the IWT’s provisions, particularly on the western rivers. The Treaty allows storage up to 3.6 MAF and 13.4 lakh acres of irrigation. Many projects now underway will achieve the “permissible capacity”. Any move to abrogate the IWT without first optimising the provisions of the Treaty is hardly pragmatic, says Dr Sinha.

      September 19, 2023
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Uttam Kumar Sinha's co-authored opinion piece 'Blue-Green growth needs science and socioeconomic intelligence' was published in Hindustan Times, on April 28, 2023.

      It is important to spend time and money on scientific planning and adopt incentives to prioritise conservation over the destruction of natural resources, say the authors.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      April 28, 2023
      IDSA News
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Uttam Kumar Sinha's views on India and G20 have been published on the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation website on 19 March 2023.

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      March 19, 2023
      IDSA News
    • Research Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Uttam Kumar Sinha’s article ‘Pakistan Must Course-Correct’ has been published in Open Magazine on 10 February 2023.

      For Pakistan, playing to the gallery will no longer be tenable. The outstanding problems are engineering in nature, requiring matching solutions. If Pakistan wants the treaty to continue, it needs to do a course correction, says Dr Sinha.

      Read Complete Article [+]

      February 10, 2023
      IDSA News
    • The Ukraine crisis, shifting geopolitical alliances in the Indo-Pacific and Western-imposed economic sanctions on Russia have strengthened China–Russia cooperation in the Arctic.

      January 10, 2023
      Issue Brief
    • We live in a world of values even if we fail to ascertain it or remain unaware. Global values such as democracy, secularism, liberty, and free speech interact with the religious, cultural, community, family as well as individual values. The ravages of the Second World War had strengthened the belief in most governments of a new and just world order and many of these values became a vehicle for peace and stability, productivity and well-being. In his ‘Four Freedom’ speech of January 1941 explaining the reasons for America’s involvement in the War, President Franklin D.

      Strategic Analysis
    • Senior Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr Uttam Kumar Sinha’s op-ed ‘India in the G-world order’ has been published in BlitzIndia on 18 November 2022.

      The G20 ‘Troika’ of the past, present and forthcoming leadership (Indonesia, India and Brazil) marks not only the rediscovery but the re-energising of the Global South. India’s G20 presidency can potentially become a watershed moment in global governance, says Dr Sinha.

      November 18, 2022
      IDSA News