Members of India’s Parliament Meet at Yale to Discuss Political-Social Challenges

Global political-economic affairs and the challenges of leadership are the focus of the 5th India -Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program that will be held on the Yale campus, June 16 to 25, 2011.

Widely recognized for educating leaders in government, business, and civil society worldwide, Yale University launched the India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program in 2007, in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the India - U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programs were held in October 2007, June 2008, June 2009, and June 2010, respectively, with different delegations of Indian parliamentarians. In total, more than 60 members of India’s parliament will have participated since the program was created five years ago.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Members of India’s Parliament participating in this program are available to media in New Haven, Connecticut. Media must request credentials from George Joseph (india@yale.edu or +1-203-436-4654) to cover this program in New Haven. The Yale Broadcast and Media Center is equipped to stage live television and radio feeds to major networks around the globe via ISDN, streaming media, and fiber optic or satellite transmission.


Yale President Richard C. Levin stated that “The India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program underscores Yale’s longstanding commitment to educating our students for service and leadership. We have now gone a step further to include emerging and mid-career leaders. The program will provide the parliamentarians with opportunities to think critically about the challenges of leadership and to explore freely, away from the legislative arena, the issues facing India.”

Baijayant (Jay) Panda, the Chairman of the India - U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians, stated that “This annual leadership program for Indian parliamentarians at Yale University, now in its fifth year, has been widely appreciated by those of us serving in politics. The presentations and discussions cover a range of topics and ideas, by and with some of the top academics in the world, and the setting is excellent for vigorous but non-partisan exchanges of views. That more than sixty of us will have attended this program, and that many more want to attend in the years ahead only underscores the stature of the Yale program among India’s parliamentarians.”

FICCI Secretary General Rajiv Kumar stated that “When launched by Yale University in collaboration with FICCI and the India-U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians, the program was the first of its kind for Indian parliamentarians. Yale University will help the parliamentarians in achieving a greater and more informed engagement in public policy discussions.”

FICCI President Harsh Mariwala stated that “The program is designed to provide Indian parliamentarians with opportunities to critically think about the current global issues and leadership challenges in a neutral environment. With some of the world-renowned experts of Yale, the parliamentarians get an opportunity to interact with them on a wide spectrum of global issues as well as on issues relating to leadership and management.”
Yale has a long and distinguished record of educating government leaders. Graduates of Yale have included five American presidents, more than five hundred members of United States Congress, more than 60 U.S. Cabinet secretaries, 20 Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and former heads of state of Germany, Korea, and Mexico. Since its founding in 1701, Yale has educated leaders and public servants for all sectors of American society and, increasingly, around the world. Yale’s tradition of leadership and public service is found in every branch of government in the United States. Yale’s graduates are leaders in all areas of human endeavor—the arts, business, law, medicine, science, and civil society, and have led or are leading hundreds of the most recognizable global brands.

Yale’s tradition of public service is exemplified by the large number of Yale alumni who have been appointed to serve in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration. These appointments include Gary Locke '72, the 36th U.S Secretary of Commerce; Hillary Rodham Clinton LAW '73, the 67th U.S. Secretary of State; David Sandalow ’78, the Assistant U.S. Secretary of Energy; James Steinberg LAW ’78, the Deputy U.S. Secretary of State; and Austan Goolsbee ‘91, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Yale Law School alumni Sonia Sotomayor LAW '79, Samuel Alito Jr. LAW ’75, and Clarence Thomas LAW ’74 are seated on the U.S Supreme Court. Additionally, nine alumni are sitting U.S. senators and 12 alumni currently serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In recent years, recognizing that the complexity and demands of geo-political and economic affairs during the 21st century will require that governments at all levels have inspired leaders, Yale has sought to engage the rising leadership of the world’s most consequential countries through leadership development programs in the United States. Yale has since 2004 held governmental programs for senior leaders from China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, and the United Arab Emirates. Other specialized programs such as the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute draws health leaders from a range of African nations.
The India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program was developed in consultation with the parliamentarians and the India - U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians and reflects the belief that exposure to new fields and ideas can offer insight, perspective, and new ways of thinking for one’s own work. Lectures, discussions, and private meetings with renowned practitioners in their areas will complement the curricular activities of the Yale program. Faculty for the program are drawn from experts at Yale, as well as research institutes, government offices, and the private sector.

The participating 2011 parliamentarians are: Bhakta Charan Das (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - Kalahandi, Orissa); Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha - Bharatiya Janata Party - Maharashtra); Sanjay Jaiswal (Lok Sabha - Bharatiya Janata Party - Paschim Champaran, Bihar); Jose K. Mani (Lok Sabha - Kerala Congress (M) Parliamentary Party - Kottayam, Kerala); Baijayant Panda (Lok Sabha - Biju Janata Dal - Kendrapara, Orissa; and, Chairman, India-U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians); Anand Prakash Paranjpe (Lok Sabha - Shiv Sena - Kalyan, Maharashtra); Ranjitsinh Vijaysingh Mohite Patil (Rajya Sabha - Nationalist Congress Party - Maharashtra); Sachin Pilot (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - Ajmer, Rajasthan; and, Minister of State for Communicatins and Information Technology); Prem Das Rai (Lok Sabha - Sikkim Democratic Front - Sikkim); Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Rajya Sabha - Bharatiya Janata Party - Bihar); Supriya Sule (Lok Sabha - Nationalist Congress Party - Baramati, Maharashtra); Ashok Tanwar (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - Sirsa, Haryana); and Manish Tewari (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - Ludhiana, Punjab). The parliamentarians will be accompanied by Ramesh Chandran (Executive Director, India - U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians, and Advisor, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

The India - U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians is a body of leading Indian parliamentarians representing the broad political spectrum of India from both Houses of Parliament - the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and the Rajya Sabha (Upper House). The Forum was formed six years ago with the support of FICCI. The Forum, constituted on the lines of “Senate Friends of India” Group and the “India Caucus” in the United States Congress, today, has more than 130 lawmakers cutting across party lines, with many of its members heading or serving in vital policy planning parliamentary committees. Baijayant (Jay) Panda, member of the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara, Orissa is the current Chairman of the Forum.
Encompassing all aspects of Indo - U.S. relations, the Forum makes an effort to facilitate wider exchange of dialogue on crucial issues of bilateral and global concerns between parliamentarians of India and their counterparts in the U.S., senior U.S. government administration officials, business leaders, opinion - makers and the Indian - American community. The Forum through Track II initiatives adds an important parliamentary dimension to the bilateral relations.