Yale University Leadership Program Draws India’s Parliamentarians

The 2008 India – Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program has drawn to Yale University a distinguished and senior delegation from India’s Parliament. Yale University, widely recognized for educating leaders in government, business, and civil society worldwide, 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 inaugural India – Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program was held in October 2007 with a different delegation of parliamentarians.

The 2008 cohort of members of India’s parliament came to the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut on June 8 to begin a four-day leadership program with Yale faculty that will be complemented by a two-day program of meetings, discussions, and interactions with U.S. politicians, policy analysts, and senior U.S. government officials in Washington, D.C. The 2008 participants include current and former cabinet ministers, party leaders, and party spokespersons for the ruling and opposition coalitions in India.

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 critically think about the challenges of leadership and to explore freely, away from the legislative arena, the issues facing India.”

FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra stated that “The India – Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program will encourage greater understanding of public leadership, accountability, transparency and parliamentary oversight amongst the parliamentarians. It is designed to provide the parliamentarians capacity building and skill development and greater engagement in public policy discussions. The program is aimed at making an important contribution to their leadership capabilities to prevent and manage challenges through effective parliamentary governance.”

Yale has a long and distinguished record of educating government leaders. 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. This tradition of public service by Yale graduates is exemplified by four of the last six American presidents, 526 members of United States Congress, 55 U.S. Cabinet secretaries, 19 Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and former heads of state of Germany, Korea, and Mexico. 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.

In recent years, recognizing that the complexity and demands of geo-political and economic affairs during the twenty-first 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, and the United Arab Emirates.

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.

In Washington, D.C., the participants of the India – Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program will hold discussions on India-U.S. bilateral issues with senior U.S. government officials from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Trade Representative, and National Security Council. They will also receive briefings and interactions on foreign policy issues and the U.S. presidential election from scholars and advisers with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Brookings Institution, the Democratic National Committee, and the Republic National Committee.

The topics covered in the second India – Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program include Climate Change and Sustainable Development; Economic Risks in the Global Economy; Rule of Law and Governance in China; Poverty and Economic Development; Religion and Politics; Reform of Higher Education in India; 2008 U.S. Presidential Election – Predictions and Realities; India and Globalization; Effective and Strategic Political Communications; Styles of Leadership; Innovation; and Leadership Challenges.

The participating parliamentarians are Shobhana Bhartia (Rajya Sabha – Nominated Member); Vijay Jawaharlal Darda (Rajya Sabha – Indian National Congress Party – Maharashtra); Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Rajya Sabha – Bharatiya Janata Party – Uttar Pradesh); Jayanthi Natarajan (Rajya Sabha – Indian National Congress Party – Tamil Nadu); Baijant Panda (Rajya Sabha – Biju Janata Dal Party – Orissa); Sebastian Paul (Lok Sabha – Independent Member – Ernakulam, Kerala); Suresh Prabhu (Lok Sabha – Shiv Sena Party – Rajapur, Maharashtra); Kiren Rijiju (Lok Sabha – Bharatiya Janata Party – Arunachal Pradesh); Jyotiraditya Scindia (Lok Sabha – Indian National Congress Party – Guna, Madhya Pradesh, and currently, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology); Yashodhara Raje Scindia (Lok Sabha – Bharatiya Janata Party – Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh); Saleem Iqbal Shervani (Lok Sabha – Samajwadi Party – Budaun, Uttar Pradesh); Uday Singh (Lok Sabha – Bharatiya Janata Party – Purnea, Bihar); and Abhishek M. Singhvi (Rajya Sabha – Indian National Congress Party – Rajasthan). 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) and Navita Vinayak (Senior Assistant Director, Forums of Parliamentarians, 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 Panda, Parliamentary Party leaders of the Biju Janata Dal Party from Orissa in the Rajya Sabha, is the current Chairman of the Forum and Abhishek M. Singhvi, senior Indian National Congress Party member of Parliament and spokesperson for the Indian National Congress Party is the Co-Chairman.

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 important parliamentary dimension to the bilateral relations.


U.S.A. – George Joseph, india@yale.edu, +1 – 203 – 436 – 4654
India – Vineet Handa, vineet.handa@kaizzencomm.com, +91 98 116 6089

Media must request credentials from George Joseph (india@yale.edu or +1 – 203 – 436 – 4654) to cover this program in New Haven or Washington, D.C.

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Media Contact

George Joseph: india@yale.edu, 203-436-4654