In the next 15 years, India is projected to become the world’s third largest economy and the next e-commerce giant. India is one of two nuclear powers in the volatile South Asian region, and shares a disputed land border with China. India is also a key player in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), facing territorial disputes and the impact of global environmental pressures on coastal and marine resources. India is also facing challenges to the development of its democracy – a radical shift in its political party system and ongoing major social challenges in the context of its rapid economic growth.
In spite of the potential importance of India for Europe, the European research community’s expertise on India is weak, with a shortage of PhDs in this area and with few modules on India being taught on either undergraduate or postgraduate programmes. The increasing importance of India as a world economic and political power means that Europe needs to train a new generation of experts who understand the political, economic and social developments in India, have experience of living and working in the country, and have the cultural awareness, languages and research skills necessary to observe and analyse how India’s engagement with the world is changing.