Webinar on the impact of COVID on West Asia

Aligarh: “The impact of the recent global health crisis on remittances and energy imports has been so big that it has changed the demographic locations in several countries and India has been one of the worst affected countries where labour migration occurred at a large scale”, said Ambassador K P Fabian, former diplomat while speaking at a webinar organized by the Department of West Asian and North African Studies, Aligarh Muslim University.

Fabian, while addressing a national webinar on “Impact of COVID-19 on West Asian Economy: Implications for India”, said that the pandemic could have been prevented if the individuals in positions of responsibility had acted prudently. He praised GCC for addressing the crisis well and attending to everyone’s needs without any discrimination. He also discussed the huge impact of the unprecedented crisis that adversely affected the overall demand and supply equations and the national economy.

In his presidential remarks, Prof Tariq Mansoor, Vice-Chancellor, shed light on the new strategic alliances coming up in West Asia and their impact on Indian foreign policy. He said the theme of the webinar is quite relevant as most of us are associated with this region in some way.

Guest speaker, Prof Gulshan Dietl gave a detailed analysis of the grim scenario marred with COVID 19 pandemic and how going back to business as usual is not an option anymore. She also discussed the economic sanctions on Iran and how negatively it impacted Iran during COVID 19 crisis.

Another guest speaker, Prof Girijesh Pant said the COVID crisis will have a huge impact on the diversification drive in West Asia and also on state-society relations. He pointed out that the character of the oil market is changing in a structural way and the countries having a stake in this region will have to analyse their oil policies keeping in view the interface between oil and COVID-19 and demand-side factors in global oil markets.

Earlier, Prof Mohammad Gulrez (Dean, Faculty of International Studies), in his inaugural address acknowledged that the year 2020-21 has been the most consequential and tragic year bringing life to a stand-still. He highlighted the plight of migrant workers in West Asia and underlined the fact that any happening in West Asia has a direct impact on India.

Chairman of the department, Prof Jawaid Iqbal gave the welcome address and put forth the agenda of the webinar.

Other eminent panelists who spoke in the webinar included Prof Mohammad Azhar, Dr Tariq Masood (Department of West Asian and North African Studies, AMU), Prof Mohd Tarique (Department of Economics, AMU) and Dr Vrushal Ghoble (School of International Studies, JNU).

Dr Sana Samreen coordinated the webinar and conducted the event while Prof Mohd Azhar proposed a vote of thanks.


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