Ranjit Gupta is a retired Indian Foreign Service officer. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisory Board for the term 2009-2010. He is currently Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi.
Earlier he has been Adjunct Faculty in the International Strategic and Security Studies Programme at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru; Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies; Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses; Visiting Professor at the Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia; and Ambassador-in-Residence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has been delivering lectures at think tanks, universities and other academic institutions in India and aboard and participating in conferences, seminars and workshops in India and aboard relating to India’s relations with West Asia and in particular the Gulf region thereof; South East Asia and East Asia with emphasis on Asia, China, Myanmar, Taiwan, Tibet and India’s ‘Look East’ Policy.
Sponsored by MEA, he led an Indian team for a series of interactions with Gulf academics in Dubai, New Delhi and Riyadh, on India GCC Relations, 2008-2010. Funded by MEA, he participated in three workshops at the Annual Gulf Research Meeting at the University of Cambridge-in 2012 and 2013 as Workshop Co Director and in 2014 as a participant, advocating an Asian role in the future security architecture of the Gulf Region. He chaired an MEA Task Force in 2011 and again in 2014 on the ‘Arab Spring and its Implications for India: Policy Recommendations’.
He has co-edited three books-India and the Gulf: What Next? Gulf Research Centre Cambridge,2013: GCC-INDIA Relations: Gulf Research Foundation, Geneva, 2013; A New Gulf Security Architecture Prospects and Challenges for an Asian Role-Gerlach Press, Berlin & London:2014.
During his first posting in Cairo, though only a Third Secretary probationer, he was hand picked by the National Liberation Front of South Yemen to be their Advisor for their Independence Talks with the British in Geneva in November 1967; in January 1968 he was deputed to Sana as Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to express India’s support for the besieged Republican regime in Yemen.
During his 39-year career with India’s Ministry of External Affairs he had served successively in Cairo, New York (at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN), Gangtok (no 2 to the Political Officer at the time of Sikkim’s merger with India), Jeddah (Deputy Chief of Mission), Frankfurt (Consul-General) and Kathmandu (Deputy Chief of Mission). He was the first desk officer dealing with Bangladesh in MEA from Feb 1972 to May 1974. Another of his postings at Headquarters had been as the last Head of the undivided West Asia and North Africa Division dealing with Arab countries and Israel. Later he was successively India’s Ambassador to Yemen, Venezuela (concurrently Consul General to the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba), Oman, Thailand (also Permanent Representative to ESCAP) and Spain (concurrently Ambassador to the Principality of Andorra) and finally was Head of India’s unofficial Representation in Taiwan from May 2000 to May 2003.