The India Project
Past India Project Private Roundtables
India, the Iran Deal, and the BRICS & SCO Summits
July 16, 2015
The India Project hosted a private roundtable discussion with Shivshankar Menon, distinguished fellow with the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Menon discussed the Iran deal and the implications for India. He also discussed the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits at Ufa, Russia and the relevance of these groupings in Indian foreign policy. He also commented on the state of India’s relations with China and Russia. Bruce Jones, vice president and director of the Brookings Foreign Policy program, moderated the discussion.
Shivshankar Menon, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
Bruce Jones, Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy; Senior Fellow, Project on International Order and Strategy, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
Discussion with Shekhar Gupta
June 19, 2015
The India Project hosted an informal off the record discussion with Shekhar Gupta, editorial adviser to the India Today group and former editor-in-chief of the Indian Express. Gupta discussed the political and economic landscape in India a year into the Modi government, as well as what we might see over the next year.
Shekhar Gupta, Editorial Adviser, India Today group
Climate Change Negotiations & India
May 13, 2015
The India Project hosted a roundtable discussion on “Climate Change Negotiations & India” with J.M. Mauskar, member of the Indian prime minister’s Council on Climate Change; Sunjoy Joshi, director of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF); and Samir Saran, senior fellow and vice president at ORF. They discussed the Indian perspective on the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, including the state of the domestic debate on the negotiations. They assessed the Modi government’s approach to the talks, as well as climate change policy more broadly, and what approach India would like to see other key countries take. The speakers also looked beyond Paris, discussing domestic, bilateral, and global initiatives that might be possible.
Jayant M. Mauskar, Member, Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change
Sunjoy Joshi, Director, Observer Research Foundation
Samir Saran, Senior Fellow and Vice President, Observer Research Foundation
The Modi Trip to China
May 5, 2015
The India Project hosted a roundtable discussion on “The Modi Trip to China” with C. Raja Mohan, dead of Strategic Studies and distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi. Raja Mohan discussed the bilateral, regional, and global context of Prime Minister Modi’s trip to China in May, the agenda, as well as implications for India’s foreign policy and its relations with China and the United States.
C. Raja Mohan, Head of Strategic Studies and Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation; Non-Resident Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Modi Government’s Foreign Policy
April 14, 2015
The India Project hosted a roundtable discussion on “The Modi Government’s Foreign Policy” with Tarun Vijay, BJP member of parliament in India. He offered his perspective on Indian foreign policy over the last year and what might be expected in the coming months. Vijay particularly discussed maritime security and India’s relations with China.
Tarun Vijay, BJP Member of Parliament, India; President, Parliamentary Group on Indo-China Friendship
Women in Indian Democracy
April 8, 2015
The India Project at Brookings hosted a roundtable discussion on “Women in Indian Democracy” with Shamika Ravi, fellow in the Development Assistance and Governance Initiative, the Brookings India Center in New Delhi, and the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. Ravi discussed some key findings about Indian democracy vis-à-vis its female citizens, stemming from analysis of 50 years of data from the Election Commission of India. This research shows that voluntary participation of female voters has risen sharply and significantly. Ravi assessed the impact of this rising female voter participation on election outcomes, provided an explanation for why there are so few women representatives in Indian politics, and estimated the ‘missing’ female electorate in India. Furthermore, she discussed whether or not the competitive electoral process in Indian democracy can promote policies for women’s welfare (including through women’s reservation) or whether other steps might be needed to address this issue. Milan Vaishnav, associate in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, served as discussant.
Shamika Ravi, Fellow, Development Assistance and Governance Initiative, Brookings India Center, Global Economy and Development program, The Brookings Institution
Milan Vaishnav, Associate, South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Assessing President Obama’s Visit to India
February 2, 2015
The India Project hosted Shyam Saran, chairman of the think tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and also senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, for a roundtable discussion titled “Assessing President Obama’s Trip to India”. He provided his assessment of the key takeaways from the president’s trip to India, including on the Asia-Pacific. He also discussed where the United States fits into Prime Minister Modi’s strategy and what might lie ahead for India-U.S. relations.
Shyam Saran, Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries; Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
The State of the Indian Economy
January 5, 2015
The India Project hosted a roundtable discussion on “The State of the Indian Economy” with Arvind Virmani, nonresident senior fellow with the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings and former Indian representative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Virmani discussed the Modi government’s economic policy performance. He talked about the status of the legislation in the current session of parliament, as well as what was expected from the government’s budget. His remarks also covered the prospects of future economic reform and the challenges that lie ahead in this space. In addition, Virmani discussed the link between the Indian prime minister’s foreign policy initiatives and the government’s economic goals.
Arvind Virmani, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, The Brookings Institution; Former Indian Representative, International Monetary Fund
Conversation with Amb. S. Jaishankar on India’s Asia-Pacific Policy
September 9, 2014
S. Jaishankar, ambassador of India to the United States, discussed India’s approach toward the Asia-Pacific. The discussion was held in the context of the recent visits to and from the region to India. Recently, the Indian foreign minister traveled to Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. The Indian president visited Vietnam in September. The Indian prime minister traveled to Japan in September and to Australia in November. He met with the visiting Chinese and Singaporean foreign ministers, as well as Japanese CEOs and members of parliament, and received visits from the Australian prime minister and the Chinese president.
S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India to the United States
India and Global Internet Governance
September 8, 2014
The India Project hosted Subimal Bhattacharjee, who is the former country head of General Dynamics in India. Bhattacharjee discussed India’s official position on global Internet governance and outlined the stance that the new Narendra Modi government has taken on the issue. He also assessed the ongoing debate within India on the subject, highlighting the stakeholders involved and their perspectives on the multilateral and multi-stakeholder approaches. Finally, he discussed the likelihood that India’s position on Internet governance might evolve, how it might evolve and what internal and external factors might cause such a change. Ian Wallace, visiting fellow in cybersecurity with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, moderated the discussion.
Subimal Bhattacharjee, Former Country Head for India, General Dynamics
Ian Wallace, Visiting Fellow, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
U.S.–India Defense Ties
September 4, 2014
Amy Searight traveled with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to India in August 2014. She and her team provided a readout from that trip, and discussed the next steps for the U.S.-India defense relationship.
Amy Searight is deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia within the office of the assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs. Her area of responsibility includes bilateral security relations with India and all other South Asian countries, excepting Afghanistan and Pakistan; and with the nations of Southeast Asia, as well as Australia, Timor Leste, New Zealand and the Pacific Island States.
Amy Searight, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, U.S. Department of Defense
Continuity and Change in India’s Nuclear Doctrine
August 20, 2014
P.R. Chari and Dinshaw Mistry discussed the evolution of the India’s nuclear doctrine and future challenges the country faces. Chari and Mistry have each published important books on the U.S.-India nuclear agreement. They are separately working on the evolution of Indian nuclear policies, including possible changes that could be introduced by the new Modi government.
P.R. Chari, Professor, Founder and Director, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi
Dinshaw Mistry, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Cincinnati
Reviewing the Indian Budget
July 17, 2014
The India Project hosted a roundtable to review the Indian Budget. Ridhika Batra, director of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the United States; Sumani Dash, director and head of the U.S. and Canadian branch of the Confederation of Indian Industry; Diane Farrell, acting president of the U.S.-India Business Council; Subir Gokarn, director of research at the Brookings India Center; and Richard Rossow, senior fellow and the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at Center for Strategic and International Studies, formed the panel.
The speakers offered comments on the Indian budget, which was presented on July 10, 2014, and was watched closely not just for specific allocations, but also what it said about the overall economic policy vision and likely direction of the Narendra Modi government. Speakers discussed key takeaways, surprises and omissions, as well as outlined the overall post-budget sentiment in India, the reaction from Indian and American businesses and implications for U.S.-India economic and financial ties.
Ridhika Batra, Director, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, United States
Sumani Dash, Director and Head, Confederation of Indian Industry, United States and Canada
Diane Farrell, Acting President, U.S.-India Business Council
Subir Gokarn, Director of Research, Brookings India Center
Richard Rossow, Senior Fellow and Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, Centre for Strategic and International Studies
Cyber Governance and Security: Views from India
May 7, 2014
Raja Mohan and Samir Saran of the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, India outlined Indian perspectives on issues related to cyber governance and cybersecurity. They discussed the current debate in India; how the Indian government, private sector and civil society see engagement with the world on these subjects; and the potential impact on U.S.-India relations and global governance.
Raja Mohan, Distinguished Fellow and Head, Strategic Studies, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
Samir Saran, Senior Research Fellow and Vice President for Development and Outreach, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India
Ian Wallace, Visiting Fellow, Center for 21st Century Security, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
Tanvi Madan, Fellow and Director, The India Project, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
China-India-Pakistan Nuclear Relationship and Indian Nuclear Policy
May 5, 2014
The India Project and the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at the Brookings Institution hosted Rear Admiral (Retd.) K. Raja Menon, for a discussion on the China-India-Pakistan nuclear relationship and Indian nuclear policy. Sixteen years have passed since India and Pakistan became overt nuclear weapon powers. Instead of stability, however, there have been at least three crises. Pakistan has initiated a plutonium bomb line; it is fielding tactical nuclear weapons, and it appears ready to install a nuclear warhead in a conventional submarine. China’s nuclear program remains opaque, while the subject of India’s adherence to its self-proclaimed second-strike strategy has again been publicly questioned. How stable is this trilateral nuclear relationship, and would a new Indian government — especially a potential Bhartiya Janta Party-led government — transform India’s nuclear policy?
Rear Admiral (Retd.) K. Raja Menon, Chairman, Task Force on Net Assessment and Simulation, Indian National Security Council
The 2008 Mumbai Attacks
May 1, 2014
The India Project and The Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a roundtable on the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Adrian Levy, discussed his book, The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj, which was published five years after the attacks and based on extensive research, including hundreds of interviews. The Siege describes the planning that led up to the attacks that took place over four days on numerous sites in Mumbai, including the Taj and Oberoi hotels, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Chabad House, and offers a look inside the operation launched by Lashkar-e-Taiba, as well as a detailed account of the attack on the Taj Hotel, in particular. Bruce Riedel served as discussant, whileStephen Cohen moderated the discussion.
Adrian Levy, Co-author, The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj
Bruce Riedel, Director, The Intelligence Project and Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
Stephen Cohen, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
India’s Afghanistan Policy
April 15, 2014
Rudra Chaudhuri, senior lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London discussed India’s Afghanistan policy. Chaudhuri’s remarks focused on India’s approach to Afghanistan in the current context. He focused on three elements: first, India, the Afghan elections and a possible post-Karzai regime in Afghanistan; second, India and the prospect of reconciliation with the Taliban, offering perspectives from within the political branch of the Afghan Taliban with regards to India’s role within the state since 2001; and lastly, India and Pakistan in relation to Afghanistan’s near future.
Rudra Chaudhuri, Senior Lecturer, Department of War Studies, King’s College London
Amb. S. Jaishankar and Strobe Talbott: In Conversation
March 28, 2014
The India Project at Brookings hosted a conversation between Amb. S. Jaishankar, the Indian ambassador to the United States, and Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution. The two discussed the status and trajectory of U.S.-India relations, as well as Indian foreign policy more broadly. The conversation included discussion of India’s relations with major powers and key regional countries, as well as of India’s role in the world.
Amb. S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India to the United States
Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution
India at the High Table: Great Civilization, Cautious Power
March 10, 2014
Teresita C. Schaffer, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings and Howard Schaffer, discussed their upcoming book, with the working title India at the High Table: Great Civilization, Cautious Power. The book will address two themes: India’s vision of its global role and India’s negotiating style. The authors started off with some of their findings, focusing on India’s approach to negotiations, practices that occur in different contexts and practices that vary from one type of negotiation to another. They talked about how these relate to the U.S. negotiating style, as seen through their own diplomatic experience and through the observations of those they have interviewed in both India and the United States.
Teresita Schaffer, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The India Project, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
Howard Schaffer, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University
Challenges of Inclusive Growth in India
February 21, 2014
Parth J. Shah, president of the Delhi-based think tank Centre for Civil Society, spoke on the challenges of inclusive growth in India. The subject of inclusive growth has been much discussed in India, not just in the economic arena, but also in politics–especially during the 2014 election year. Shah discussed the current strategy for inclusive growth in India and its efficacy. He outlined and assessed analysts’ explanations of why the rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer in India, including: capitalist exploitation, differences in education, an urban-rural divide, distinction between liberalized and un-liberalized sectors of the economy, as well as the different distribution of economic freedom. Shah also offered an alternative strategy for inclusive growth.
Parth J. Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi, India
Energy, the Economy & Elections in India
November 6, 2013
Vikram Singh Mehta, chairman of Brookings India, the new Brookings center in New Delhi discussed energy, the economy and elections in India. Vikram Mehta is chairman of Brookings India. From the early 1990s until he joined Brookings last year, Vikram Singh Mehta was chairman of the Shell Group of Companies in India. After beginning his career in the Indian Administrative Service, he worked for a number of energy companies, including Philips Petroleum, Oil India Limited and Shell International. Mehta has also served as the chairman of the Hydrocarbon Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and as a member of CII’s National Council. He has been chairman of the board of trustees of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award for India, a member of the Board of Governors of Doon School, and member of the general council of Mayo College. Mehta currently serves on the boards of a number of companies, and is also on the board of governors of the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in Gujarat, India and the board of overseers of the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University. Mehta writes a column for the Indian Express and regularly appears on news shows in India. He has a B.A. (Hons.) degree in mathematics from St. Stephens College, Delhi University, an M.A. in economics from Magdalen College, Oxford University and an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Charles K. Ebinger, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Energy Security Initiative, moderated the discussion.
Vikram Singh Mehta, Chairman, Brookings India and Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Charles K. Ebinger, Senior Fellow and Director, Brookings Energy Security Initiative
Which Nuclear Path for India
October 17, 2013
Rajesh Basrur, professor and coordinator of the South Asia Program at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, discussed Indian nuclear strategy, which he noted shows an increasing divergence between two very different conceptions of nuclear deterrence: minimalist and maximalist. He argued that on the one hand, India retains its recessed posture, refrains from testing and stands by its interest in arms control/disarmament; on the other, it pursues a wide array of capabilities based on a conception of deterrence that was central to Cold War thinking. In his talk, Basrur explained the shift and its implications, arguing that the tension between the two components of nuclear deterrence reflected (a) an internal contradiction arising from the civil-military bargain that allows the political leadership to neglect “operational” issues; (b) policymakers’ failure to learn how deterrence really works from the experience of others as well as from their own experience; and (c) the cost-benefit advantages of the partial maximizing approach, i.e. the relatively low strategic cost of developing nuclear weapons sophistication in the context of a recessed posture, and the political-strategic benefits derived from it in the pursuit of major power status. Basrur explained why he believes this trajectory is suboptimal and offered recommendations for a way forward. Stephen P. Cohenmoderated the discussion.
Rajesh Basrur, Professor and Coordinator, South Asia Program, Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
Immigration from India to the U.S. and the H-1B Visa Issue
September 26, 2013
A roundtable discussion took place at Brookings during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington, D.C. that covered immigration from India to the United States, with a special focus on the hotly-contested issue of H-1B visas. This was an invite-only, off-the-record discussion with key stakeholders from India and the United States, as well as policymakers from the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. Participants included individuals from all sides of the debate and also legislators from both houses of Congress who have written two different proposals that impact Indian and American IT consulting companies. Representatives from the Indian IT industry who were traveling with the Indian prime minister were present. Som Mittal, president of India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of Economic Policy Institute were the speakers. Neil Ruiz, senior policy analyst and associate fellow at Brookings moderated the discussion.
Som Mittal, President, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM),India
Ross Eisenbrey, Vice President, Economic Policy Institute
Neil Ruiz, Senior Policy Analyst and Associate Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
The Growing Economic Ties between India and China
August 7, 2013
Anil Gupta, the Michael Dingman chair in strategy and globalization at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, Girija Pande, executive chairman of Apex Avalon Consulting, and Haiyan Wang, managing partner of the China India Institute, who are working on a book on Indian businesses operating in China and vice versa, discussed trends related to economic ties between the two Asian giants, covering both the trade and investment sectors. They also covered existing tensions in this bilateral arena, and the challenges and opportunities that Indian companies operating in China and Chinese companies operating in India face. Speaking about successes and failures to date, they offered lessons learned and strategies that could facilitate business ties.
Anil Gupta, Michael Dingman Chair in Strategy and Globalization, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park
Girija Pande, Executive Chairman, Apex Avalon Consulting
Haiyan Wang, Managing Partner, China India Institute
Indian Energy Security
July 2, 2013
Jyotiraditya Scindia, the minister of state for power (independent charge) in the Government of India, led an off-the-record roundtable on Indian energy security. He is a member of the Congress party in India, is a three-time member of parliament from the state of Madhya Pradesh since October 2012, and has led the Power Ministry. Prior to his current role, he served as minister of state for commerce and industry and minister of state for communications and information technology. He has been a member of the Congress Working Committee, Congress Economic Affairs Cell and committees on external affairs, defense, finance, petitions and estimates. Mr. Scindia has also worked with global venture capital funds, investment banks and international organizations. He holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. in economics from Harvard University. Michael Greenstone, director of the Hamilton Project and senior fellow in Economic Studies, chaired the discussion.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Power, Government of India
Michael Greenstone, Director, Hamilton Project and Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution
China-India Border Issues and Northeast India
May 30, 2013
Namrata Goswami, 2012-2013 Jennings Randolph senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), discussed the China-India border dispute, locating it within the geopolitics of northeast India, China and Burma. She outlined the reasons behind the unresolved dispute, the impact it has had on the military postures of both China and India at the border and the local narratives on the border dispute based on her fieldwork in northeast India since 2006. Goswami also offered scenarios, assessing how the China-Indian border issue might play out in the future.
Namrata Goswami, 2012-2013 Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
Challenges in the Indian Electricity Sector
May 21, 2013
Rahul Tongia, co-founder of the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) in Bangalore, explored the well-known challenges facing the Indian electricity sector, such as shortfall of supply, losses (technical, commercial and financial) and poor management. Tongia discussed a number of options for addressing the broader challenges in the electricity sector. He focused on a few key aspects: the role of renewables, rural electrification and smart grids. Tongia also discussed the issue of pricing, which ties together these elements. Beyond the issue of raising prices, he explained how improved accounting and aligning incentives can improve consumer services and sustainability. Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative, moderated the discussion.
Rahul Tongia, Co-Founder, Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Bangalore
Charles Ebinger, Director, Brookings Energy Security Initiative
The Role of Philanthropy in India
April 23, 2013
The India Project hosted a roundtable discussion with Rohini Nilekani, founder and chairperson of ARGHYAM and Pratham Books, who has been working to promote and deepen strategic philanthropy in India and foster donor collaboratives. Nilekani discussed the current state of philanthropy in India, the role it plays in society, how and why it has changed over time, as well as future prospects and challenges. She explored the funding of public policy-related programs in India broadly, as well as covered her own experience funding initiatives in the water sector that are focused on improving the provision of urban services and encouraging a sense of empowerment and ownership in rural communities. She talked about the initiatives themselves, as well as the challenges faced in the Indian policy context related to issues such as availability of quality data and monitoring and evaluation.
Rohini Nilekani, Founder and Chairperson, ARGHYAM and Pratham Books
The State of the Indian Economy
April 18, 2013
Raghuram Rajan, chief economic adviser to the Government of India, discussed the current state of the Indian economy with a private audience at Brookings. Previously, Dr. Raghuram Rajan served as the Eric J. Gleacher distinguished service professor of finance at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. From 2003-2006, he was the economic counselor and director of research at the International Monetary Fund. He researches political economic policy and the role of institutions in fostering economic development. He has been a consultant to the Indian Finance Ministry, the World Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, the Swedish Parliamentary Commission and various financial institutions. His most recent book, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, won the 2010 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Rajan was awarded the inaugural Fischer Black Prize by the American Finance Association for contributions to finance by an economist under 40. He was one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2012 and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009. Barry Bosworth, senior fellow in Economic Studies and Robert V. Roosa chair in international economics moderated the discussion.
Raghuram Rajan, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India
Barry Bosworth, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies and Robert V. Roosa Chair in International Economics, The Brookings Institution
Health Insurance for India’s Poor: Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
February 28, 2013
Anil Swarup, director general, Labour Welfare and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India, discussed the development and implementation of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), the first program by the government of India to provide health insurance to the millions of individuals employed in India’s informal sector and living below the poverty line. The idea behind the program was to facilitate access to affordable healthcare for this segment of the population for whom healthcare can be prohibitively expensive, and for whom illness can mean forgoing critical income. As an architect of the program, Anil Swarup discussed the challenges involved in developing the program, how it evolved from earlier attempts to create similar programs at the state and national levels and what other models were considered in the scheme’s formation. He explained the advantages of involving the government, private sector, and insurance companies in the scheme and how this helped forge the initiative. Kavita Patel, fellow and managing director in the Engelberg Center for Healthcare Reform at the Brookings Institution served as discussant.
Anil Swarup, Director General, Labour Welfare and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India
Kavita Patel, Fellow and Managing Director, Engelberg Center for Healthcare Reform, The Brookings Institution
The China-Pakistan Relationship: What the U.S. and India Need to Know
February 21, 2013
Andrew Small, transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, spoke on how rising militancy in Pakistan is reshaping the China-Pakistan relationship, and the broader ramifications of this shift on the wider region. Based on material from a forthcoming book, Small evaluated the evolution in China’s thinking about the utility of its relationship with Pakistan in the period since 2007, from the siege of the Red Mosque to a post-American Afghanistan. He looked at how these changing Chinese perceptions impact on economic and strategic cooperation between the two sides, on Beijing’s other major defining relationships – the United States and India, and on China’s own approach to militancy and counter-terrorism strategy. Ziad Haider, attorney at White & Case LLP served as discussant.
Andrew Small, Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund
Ziad Haider, Attorney, White & Case LLP
Recent Political Developments in India: The Other Leadership Transition
February 14, 2013
The India Project at Brookings hosted a roundtable discussion on recent political dynamics in India, as well as their potential impact on the policy debate and political developments over the next year. Political dynamics in the world’s largest democracy deserve international attention. While national elections are not due to take place in India till 2014, there have been crucial state elections and party leadership changes recently, and elections in ten states are due over the next year. Sadanand Dhume, resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute, and Milan Vaishnav, an associate in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment led the panel discussion that covered recent developments including Rahul Gandhi’s promotion within the Congress Party, Narendra Modi’s third state electoral victory and national political prospects of others like Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Tanvi Madan, fellow and director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution moderated the discussion.
Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Milan Vaishnav, Associate, South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Tanvi Madan, Fellow and Director, The India Project, The Brookings Institution
The Indian Economy: Opportunity and Challenges
January 23, 2013
Subir Gokarn, until recently a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, provided an overview of India’s economic climate and some of the challenges the country can expect to face in the medium term. Prior to joining the Reserve Bank, Gokarn was chief economist of Standard & Poor’s Asia-Pacific, based in New Delhi. He assumed this position in August 2007 after having been executive director and chief economist of CRISIL, in which Standard & Poor’s acquired a majority stake in 2005. During his five-year tenure at CRISIL, besides his role as chief economist, he performed a variety of roles, including heading CRISIL’s research group and membership of the board of CRISIL and a number of its subsidiary companies. Prior to joining CRISIL in 2002, he was chief economist and Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) chair in Industrial Development at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi (2000-2002) and associate professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai (1991-2000). Eswar Prasad, senior fellow in Global Economy and Development at Brookings, chaired the roundtable.
Subir Gokarn, former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
Eswar Prasad, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, The Brookings Institution
Net Security Provider: India’s Out of Area Contingency Operations
December 7, 2012
Earlier this year, U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta described India as a ‘linchpin’ of U.S. strategy for Asia – a description that received much attention. A year before that in Chennai, secretary of state Hillary Clinton called on India not only to “Look East” but also to “Act East.” These statements are in line with the American vision articulated in the 2010 U.S. Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) that sees India emerging as a “net security provider” in the region. In this roundtable discussion, Anit Mukherjee laid out the Indian military perspective on this potential role and discussed the limits and possibilities in terms of its feasibility. His talk took a look at a few key questions: How does the Indian military think about this role of net security provider? More specifically, how does it prepare for it? And what does it need to do to prepare for what it calls “out of area contingency operations”? Mukherjee coordinated and helped write a report recently released by the Military Affairs Centre at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi that focuses on these questions and offers prescriptions for future India action in this realm. He presented and discussed its findings. Stephen P. Cohen served as discussant.
Anit Mukherjee, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow,The Brookings Institution
U.S.-India Security Burden-Sharing in the Indian Ocean?
November 15, 2012
Nilanthi Samaranayake, research analyst, Strategic Studies, CNA, discussed a forthcoming CNA report, which investigated the potential for the U.S. Navy and the Indian Navy to work together to build capacities in the Indian Ocean. The study examined both the U.S. and Indian provision of security assistance to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Maldives and surveyed official and expert perspectives in all five countries on the possibility of coordinated U.S. and Indian security cooperation in the Indian Ocean. Ashley Tellis, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, served as discussant.
Nilanthi Samaranayake, Asia Analyst, CAN
Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Foreign Assistance – India’s New Soft Power
November 8, 2012
During the roundtable discussion, Rani Mullen, visiting fellow with the Centre for Policy Research and associate professor at the College of William and Mary, outlined the history of Indian foreign aid since 1947 and the large increases of foreign assistance that have taken place particularly since the turn of the century. She discussed the factors driving Indian foreign aid, especially the motivations of the Indian government, as well as what these Indian endeavors indicate about the country’s foreign policy more broadly. Mullen also talked about the current government efforts to centralize and harmonize Indian aid, as well as the problems it faces in doing so.
Rani Mullen, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research and Associate Professor of Government, College of William and Mary
The Political Foundations of Modern India
October 31, 2012
What India’s founders derived from Western political traditions as they struggled to free their country from colonial rule is widely understood. Less well-known is how India’s own rich knowledge traditions of two and a half thousand years influenced these figures as they set about constructing a nation in the wake of the Raj. In the roundtable discussion,Ananya Vajpeyi, visiting faculty with the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, furnished this missing account with an assessment of modern Indian political thought. Taking five of India’s most important founding fathers—Mohandas Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and B.R. Ambedkar—she outlined how each of them turned to classical texts in order to fashion an original sense of Indian selfhood, one that did not just recuperate old philosophical frameworks but invent new ones. Furthermore, Vajpeyi discussed the staying power of the ideas and ideals that were at the foundations of India’s modern polity. J.P. Singh served as discussant.
Ananya Vajpeyi, Visiting Faculty, Center for the Study of Developing Societies
J.P. Singh, Professor of Global Affairs and Cultural Studies, George Mason University
Prospects for India’s Internationalism
October 25, 2012
In the transformation of India’s relations with the United States, some of the biggest successes have been in bilateral relations, and one of the most difficult dimensions has been multilateral engagement; with China, the story the reverse. Dr. Raja Mohan, distinguished fellow and head of strategic studies at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, discussed the prospects for Indian internationalism, as well as the potential impact on India-U.S. relations. The discussion was moderated by Amb. Teresita Schaffer, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings.
Dr. Raja Mohan, Distinguished Fellow and Head of Strategic Studies, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
Amb. Teresita Schaffer, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
India and Natural Gas: Prospects, Problems and the Potential Role of the U.S.
September 25, 2012
During the roundtable, Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) at the Brookings Institution, andGovinda Avasarala, senior research assistant with ESI, discussed these major trends, outlining the growing demand for natural gas in India, its increasing import dependence, as well as the feasibility of various solutions such as shale gas production, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and pipeline imports. They presented their findings from a draft paper that looks at the policies and politics that affect India’s natural gas sector. Finally, Ebinger and Avasarala discussed the prospects for U.S. LNG exports and how they can potentially affect India’s natural gas sector—this has broader implications not just for India’s energy sector but also India’s relations with the U.S. and a number of other gas-exporting countries.
Charles Ebinger, Director, Brookings Energy Security Initiative
Govinda Avasarala, Senior Research Assistant, Brookings Energy Security Initiative
India’s Politics and Economic Reform: The Challenges and Opportunities that Lie Ahead
September 7, 2012
India’s economic growth dropped to a 9-year low of 6.5 percent in 2011-2012, and official figures for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, are expected to put it at 5.2 percent. In his recent article in Foreign Affairs, “How India Stumbled,” Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president and chief executive with the Center for Policy Research, noted that despite great expectations, the Congress Party-led government has been gripped by policy paralysis and is now both unwilling and incapable of implementing crucial reforms. During his remarks, he discussed the causes that led India onto this trajectory of slower economic growth, higher inflation and increasing inequality. Dr. Mehta also reviewed India’s current political and economic situation, and discussed policy options available to the government to change course, get past the political deadlock and achieve its economic objectives. President of Brookings, Strobe Talbott provided introductory remarks and Tanvi Madan served as moderator.
Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and Chief Executive, Center for Policy Research
Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution
Tanvi Madan, Fellow and Director, The India Project, The Brookings Institution
India-Pakistan Water Politics
August 29, 2012
The Indus Waters Treaty, signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan, governs the use of roughly 55 trillion gallons of water per year from the six transnational rivers that sustain more than 210 million people in the basin and irrigate about 80 percent of Pakistan’s cultivated lands. The rivers have also been a key source of hydroelectricity. As India has recently moved to develop some dam projects in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has invoked the treaty’s arbitration clauses for the first time in fifty years. This issue has threatened to become an even greater source of strain between the two countries, with Pakistani extremists accusing India of “water terrorism” and New Delhi reproaching Islamabad for exaggerating, politicizing and internationalizing the issue. Dr. Daniel Haines, British Academy postdoctoral fellow with the University of London, offered a general overview of the history of the water issue between India and Pakistan since independence, also covering the United States’ role in bringing about the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. He outlined how the water issue has affected the political dynamics between the two countries and relations between the governments and powerful non-state actors. Furthermore, Dr. Haines tied these dynamics to recent developments, discussing the current water-related disputes between India and Pakistan.
Dr. Daniel Haines, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Royal Holloway, University of London
India and the BRICS
August 28, 2012
Last March saw the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) meet for their fourth annual summit in New Delhi, where they adopted a declaration and an action plan to foster “global stability, security and prosperity.” Together, these five countries represent 43 percent of the world’s population. Their discussions about establishing alternative global governance mechanisms to tackle a variety of issues, from the economy and financial system to climate change and terrorism have garnered some attention within and outside the countries. Samir Saran, senior fellow and vice president of the Observer Research Foundation, discussed the desirability and feasibility of the five countries coordinating their policies and cooperating to set up alternative institutions and processes, and outlined specific initiatives, such as the proposed BRICS Development Bank. He shared the outcomes of the fourth BRICS Academic Forum, recently held at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, as well as his current work on a BRICS long-term vision document that will be unveiled in South Africa as India completes its term as chair. Dr. Thomas Wright, fellow in the Brookings Managing Global Order project, served as discussant.
Samir Saran, Senior Fellow and Vice President, Observer Research Foundation
Dr. Thomas Wright, Fellow, Managing Global Order, The Brookings Institution
An Indian Perspective on the Middle East
August 16, 2012
While the Middle East has been in turmoil, India’s position as an emerging power and its seat on the United Nations Security Council have brought greater attention to India’s approach toward and interactions with countries in this region. There have been a number of questions about India’s attitude toward the region, as well as its reaction to the uprisings in the Arab world. There has also been some debate about what India’s actions might imply about the country’s future role in multilateral organizations and in the region, as well as the U.S.-India partnership. In this roundtable discussion,Ambassador Neelam Deo, co-founder and director of Gateway House, offered an Indian perspective on the situation in the Middle East, stemming not just from her previous experience as a diplomat but also her vantage point in India’s financial and commercial capital, Mumbai. She outlined the factors that influence India’s approach toward the region more broadly and certain key countries in particular. In this context, Ambassador Deo discussed India’s response to the situations in Libya and Syria.
Ambassador Neelam Deo, Co-Founder and Director, Gateway House
Implementation Hona Chahiye: The Perils and Possibilities related to Implementing U.S.-India Agreements
August 8, 2012
Recently there has been some expression of disappointment in the United States about the difficulties faced in implementing bilateral U.S.-India agreements, particularly on civil nuclear, defense and economic cooperation. While the U.S.-India strategic dialogue has led to discussions on a number of additional issues and the conclusion of further agreements, there are questions about the ability of the Indian government to follow through with them. In this roundtable,Ambassador T.P. Sreenivasan, who is with the National Security Advisory Board of India, shared his personal insights and experience, reviewed the various obstacles to implementation and laid out ways to move the bilateral relationship forward, including in the civil nuclear sector.
Amb. T.P. Sreenivasan, National Security Advisory Board of India
Reforms in India: A Perspective from West Bengal
July 9, 2012
The Brookings India Initiative held a roundtable discussion with Dr. Amit Mitra, the current finance minister of the Indian state of West Bengal and former secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Dr. Mitra discussed the challenges and opportunities facing West Bengal. From his vantage point as the finance minister of a state led by a key member of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition in India, he also discussed evolving center-state dynamics in the country and their economic impact.
Dr. Amit Mitra, Finance Minister, West Bengal, India and former Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
Jammu and Kashmir after the Report
June 15, 2012
In this roundtable discussion Dr. Radha Kumar, trustee of the Delhi Policy Group, discussed her work as one of the three interlocutors appointed by the Government of India in 2010 to assess public opinion in Jammu and Kashmir; she recommended ways for resolving the difficult problems of the state.
Dr. Radha Kumar, Trustee, Delhi Policy Group
Nonalignment 2.0: Writing the Report and Responding to the Debate
April 20, 2012
Launched last February in New Delhi, the report Nonalignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the Twenty First Century was an important contribution to the Indian debate on its international posture, particularly towards Pakistan and China and on issues like the effectiveness of its military strategy and diplomacy. Ambassador Teresita Schafferand Dr. Stephen Cohen hosted one of the co-authors, Dr. Srinath Raghavan, who shared his insights on the report, its origins and preparation.
Srinath Raghavan, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
Absent Dialogue: Making Sense of the Civil-Military Crisis in India
April 17, 2012
Anit Mukherjee, a research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, and Sunil Dasgupta, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings discussed the origin of the current civil-military turmoil, and argued that India needs to adopt drastic reforms in its security and defense sectors and needs to learn lessons from the American experience.
Anit Mukherjee, Research Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi
Sunil Dasgupta, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Current Strategic Developments in India
January 25, 2012
Dr. Stephen P. Cohen moderated a discussion on current Indian strategic and political developments with one of India’s leading strategists, Mr. Bharat Karnad, research professor in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.
Bharat Karnad, Research Professor, National Security Studies, Centre for Policy Research
Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, the Brookings Institution
The Future of Reducing Nuclear Dangers: How Can India and the United States Collaborate?
January 5, 2012
A private discussion based of a Nuclear Threat Initiative report “India and the Non-Proliferation System” with Stephen P. Cohen, a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings; Teresita C. Schaffer, nonresident senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings; Joan Rohlfing, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative; and P.R. Chari, visiting professor at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi.
P. R. Chari, Visiting Professor, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
Joan Rohlfing, President and COO, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Teresita Schaffer, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution