The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis of an unprecedented nature – countries are grappling to control the spread of the disease by announcing lockdowns and closing borders; economies have come to a grinding halt; and many countries, including India, have seen a rise in the rhetoric of self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

With travel within and across countries barred, citizens are turning to technology communicate across borders. Simultaneously, states are using technology to mount surveillance on citizens to track and control the spread of the virus. What do these trends signal for a post-Covid-19 global order? Are we likely to see a shift in the balance of power between the United States and China? And where does India stand in the picture?

In the 10th episode of the podcast on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive of Centre for Policy Research, speaks with Ambassador Shyam Saran, India’s former foreign secretary and Senior Fellow at the Delhi-based think tank. Ambassador Saran discusses the wide-ranging implications of the pandemic on the world, the need for decentralisation in India, and ends on a hopeful note that this period of change will give emerging powers like India more weight in the diplomatic space.

This is the 10th episode in a series by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter or visit You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here.