Global Issues and Leadership Challenges Are Focus of Yale University Program for India’s Parliamentarians

Global political-economic affairs and the challenges of leadership are the focus of the fourth India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program that will be held June 9 to 19, 2010.

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 1st, 2nd, and 3rd India – Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programs were held in October 2007, June 2008, and June 2009, respectively, with different delegations of Indian parliamentarians. In total, nearly fifty members of India’s parliament have participated since the program was created.

The 2010 cohort of members of India’s parliament will come to the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut for the seven-day leadership program with Yale faculty that will be complemented by a three-day program of meetings, discussions and interactions with U.S. politicians, policy analysts and senior U.S. government officials in New York City and in Washington, D.C.

Among the 2010 participants are Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress party; Ajay Maken, Minister of State for Home Affairs; and Agatha Sangma, Minister of State for Rural Development. Minister Sangma is presently the youngest minister of state in the Council of Ministers. Underscoring the program’s emphasis on fostering discussion and dialogue across party lines, the 2010 participants are drawn from seven different political parties.

Yale President Richard C. Levin said: “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 Mitras said: “The India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program encourages 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.”

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the Chairman of the India-U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians, said: “The India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program is pioneering in the amazing diversity of topics explored; in the outstanding, cutting edge quality of the world-renowned lecturers; in the truly bipartisan nature of the multiparty delegation; in the unusual blend of the vibrant young and the experienced vets comprising the delegation; and, in the intense, disciplined and highly structured mix of academics and policy planning at our Yale and Washington, D.C. interactions. Most important, and perhaps most unquantifiable but clearly tangible, is the remarkable bonding between the members of the delegation over the course of the program—something not found easily even after years in Parliament!”

The India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program 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 4th India – Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program will hold discussions on India-U.S. bilateral issues with senior U.S. government officials. They will also receive briefings and interactions on foreign policy issues from scholars and advisers from Washington’s leading research and policy institutions.

The participating 2010 parliamentarians are Anto Antony (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - Pathanamthitta, Kerala); Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Lok Sabha - Shiromani Akali Dal - Bathinda, Punjab); Jyoti Dhurve (Lok Sabha - Bharatiya Janata Party - Betul, Madhya Pradesh); Gaddam Vivekanand (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - Peddapalle, Andhra Pradesh); Bhartruhari Mahtab (Lok Sabha - Biju Janata Dal - Cuttack, Orissa); Ajay Maken (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - New Delhi, Delhi, and Minister of State for Home Affairs); Pradeep Majhi (Lok Sabha - Indian National Congress - Nabarangpur, Orissa); Asaduddin Owaisi (Lok Sabha - All India Majlis-e Ittihad al-Muslimin - Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh); Agatha Sangma (Lok Sabha - Nationalist Congress Party - Tura, Meghalaya, and Minister of State for Rural Development); Neeraj Shekhar (Lok Sabha - Samajwadi Party - Ballia, Uttar Pradesh); Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Rajya Sabha - Indian National Congress – Rajasthan, and Chairman, India - U.S. Forum of Parliamentarians); and Janardhana Swamy (Lok Sabha - Bharatiya Janata Party - Chitradurga, Karnataka). 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. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, member of the Rajya Sabha and natinal spokesperson for the Indian National Congress Party is the Chairman of the Forum; Shobhana Bhartia, member of the Rajya Sabha is the Co-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.

Note: 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