1. The idea and philosophy of Global India Foundation
was conceived in early 2006 and after extensive country wide consultation,
the Foundation was instituted in October 2006 in Kolkata. The first
meeting of the Executive Council of the Foundation took place at
Hotel Grand Oberoi, Kolkata in October 2006.
2. Admiral P J Jacob, Chairman, Shri Dinesh Chandra
Pathak, Vice Chairman, Ambassador Arundhati Ghosh, Member, Executive
Council of the Foundation took part in a national seminar on India’s
Foreign Policy: Changes and Challenges, organized by Maulana Abul
Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies on 27 October 2006. The program
was chaired by Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Member Secretary of the Foundation.
Prof. J K Ray, Chairman, Maulana Azad Institute and Mr. Sunil Lal,
Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
were the other distinguished speakers in the seminar held at Oberoi
Grand. Later, Members attended a reception organised by Maulana
Azad Institute at the Calcutta Punjab Club together with a large
number of invitees from academia, media, government, research institutes
3. The Foundation organized an interactive session
on Indian Diaspora in the institute’s premises on 13 January
2007. Mr. Selva Raju Sundaram, Chairman, Global Organization of
Peoples of Indian Origin (GOPIO) was the Chief Guest. Other speakers
included Prof. Prem Poddar, University of Aarhus, Denmark and Prof.
Ajay K Dubey from Jawaharlal Nehru University. The session involved
a discussion on myriad aspects and issue areas relevant to the situation
of the Indian Diaspora and the possible research themes to be undertaken
by the Foundation.
The national launch of the Foundation was
organized in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs
(MEA) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) at the
Durbar Hall of the Taj Palace Hotel, Delhi, on 16 January
2007. To mark the launch, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon'ble Minister
of External Affairs, Government of India, delivered a Keynote
address on India and the Global Balance of Power before a
distinguished gathering of diplomats, officials, industry
leaders, members of the policy community and public life and
national and international media.
The program opened with the Welcome Address by
Mr. Arif S Khan, Additional Secretary, Public Diplomacy, Ministry
of External Affairs. This was followed by a speech by General (Rtd.)
S. S. Mehta, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry,
highlighting the economic potential of India. Shri Sunil Kant Munjal,
past President, CII, spoke on the potential role of commerce and
industry in shaping the global emergence of India.
objectives and action-plan of GIF were elaborated in the Address
by Vice- Admiral (Rtd.) P.J. Jacob, Chairman of the Foundation.
He referred to GIF as a platform for “analysis and worthy
choices in public policy relevant to India. An independent,
non-partisan initiative of Indian citizens committed in strengthening
of the national resilience of our motherland, consistent with
the promotion of interdependence in international affairs.”
In providing a roadmap of the GIF activities, Admiral Jacob
discussed several mechanisms which included conducting analytical
research, facilitating and providing a platform for debate,
informal bridge-building among diverse views, all with the
aim of suggesting relevant policy measures. He concluded by
saying that the Foundation intends to establish its own thematic
working groups on certain priority issues of comprehensive
security and economic wellbeing.
Pranab Mukerjee began his Keynote address by highlighting
the objectives of the Global India Foundation and asserting
that inputs from such initiatives would complement official
efforts. The process of decolonization, popularity of economic
integration, emerging tensions between the North and South
were highlighted as some of the prominent trends of contemporary
international politics. The role, composition and objectives
of global institutions are being re-defined. The traditional
challenges to global security are being complemented by emerging
concerns of failed states, terrorism, religious extremism
and weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Mukherjee asserted that
the conventional thrust areas of India’s foreign policy
require refinement in the context of current international
developments.While India continues to revamp its neighborhood
linkages with South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia, she
has come to play a vital role in the contributing to and managing
the global “balance of interests”. In the words
of the Minister, “The choices India makes today have
the potential to change outcomes on issues ranging from global
environment to multiple balances.” In emphasizing that
the “new optimism about India’s future, within
the nation and the wider world, is not necessarily an irrational
exuberance”, the Mr. Mukherjee discussed the sources
of India’s economic, technological and political strength.
He concluded by stating that India stands fully prepared to
shoulder its due responsibilities in the emerging international
The program concluded with the formal Vote of Thanks
by Shri Dinesh C. Pathak, Vice Chairman of the Foundation. On behalf
of the Foundation, Shri Pathak extended sincere gratitude to Mr.
Pranab Mukherjee for gracing the occasion. He also appreciated the
participation of Air Chief Marshall S P Tyagi, Admiral Shireesh
Mehta, Chief of Naval Staff, Ambassador M K Rasgotra, Chairman,
National Security Advisory Board and a large number of diplomats
and officials in the program. Shri Munjal, Past President of CII
and Lt. Gen. S.S. Mehta, Director General of the CII were specially
thanked for their collaboration. The event was followed by a reception.
The event received extensive coverage in the national
print and electronic media. The event continues to serve as a source
of inspiration for the Foundation and its members in furthering
the objectives of the Foundation.
by Shri Pranab Mukherjee
5. Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Member Secretary, Global India Foundation,
Dr Tania Dass and Ms Madhavi Bhasin, Fellows, Global India Foundation,
were invited to attend a National seminar on PEACE IN DIALOGUE:
Reflections on North-East India organised by the Department of Humanities
and Social Sciences, IIT, Guwahati in collaboration with ICSSR (North
Eastern Region Centre), sponsored by Ministry of Development of
North Eastern Region (DoNER), GOI, New Delhi on February 1-2, 2007.
Prof. Mishra delivered a Special Address at the inaugural session.
Dr Dass and Ms Bhasin presented a paper on Structuring Negotiations
for Durable Peace.
6. The Global India Foundation and the National
Council of Education, Bengal organised a program on Emerging India
on the occasion of the 101st Foundation Day of NCE Bengal on 12
March 2007 in Indumati Auditorium, Jadavpur. The Chief Guest of
the program, Mr. Shekhar Dutt, Defence Secretary, Government of
India delivered a Special Address on “Emerging India: The
Road Ahead and Pitfalls” on the occasion. Mr. Dutt maintained:
“The twin themes of national resilience and international
interdependence, that underpin the philosophy of your organization,
the Global India Foundation, should also be the guiding attributes
of an India that is emergent. We need to weather the challenges,
and make the best use of the enormous opportunities for development
through quality education and increased awareness in an interdependent
Other speakers included Admiral P J Jacob, Prof.
J K Ray, Prof. Omprakash Mishra, and Prof. R P De of the National
Council of Education, Bengal. The session was chaired by Prof. A
N Basu, Chairman, West Bengal Pollution Control Board and also Member,
Executive Council of the Foundation. Dr. A J Majumdar proposed a
Vote of Thanks. A large number of invitees from various walks of
life attended the program, an attestation to the significance of
the subject matter. Mr. Dutt also interacted with the invitees.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies extended their
cooperation and support in organizing the program.
by Mr Shekhar Dutt
7. Admiral P J Jacob, Chairman, Global India Foundation
attended the Canada-India Round Table ‘Towards Education Linkages
– Education Trade and Technology’, organised by the
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) on March 14, 2007 at Claridge’s
Hotel, New Delhi. The round table sought to incubate mutually beneficial
partnerships between institutions in both the countries in the field
of higher education and contribute to a strategic road-map for evolving
stronger bi-national linkages in trade and technology. While trade
and technology constitute two key drivers of the current relationship,
education can play a major role in building a solid base for trade
and technology relationships. Education linkages and partnerships
can be a means for developing strong and innovative academic and
research programs that are capable of generating knowledge and skills
needed to meet the needs of our times.
8. Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Member Secretary, was
invited to present a paper on Refugees and Regional Security in
South Asia in an international seminar on Economic Cooperation for
Security and Development in South Asia, organized by Institute for
Defence Studies and Analyses in collaboration with Indian Council
for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, 16-17
9. A delegation of GIF members comprising Admiral
Jacob, Mr. Pathak, Prof. Mishra, Prof. Pillai, Ambassador Haidar,
Mr. Mehkri and Mr. Naidu called on Mr. Shivshankar Menon, Foreign
Secretary, Government of India on March 16, 2007. A broad range
of issues and themes were discussed in this hour long meeting. GIF
extended its support and collaboration in mutually rewarding projects
and programs to the Ministry. Mr. Menon was appreciative of the
objectives and vision of the Foundation and accepted the invitation
of the Foundation to address a few programs to be organized by the
Foundation in different cities in the country. Mr. Dasgupta, Joint
Secretary, MEA was present in the meeting.
10. The Foundation extended its collaboration to
the Department of History, Jadavpur University for an International
Workshop on History of Global Climate Change: Water, Ecology, De-forestation,
Agriculture, Politics and the Management of Nature on March 22,
2007 at the UGC-DSA Seminar Hall, PG Arts Building, Ground Floor,
Jadavpur University. Prof. S.K Sanyal, Vice Chancellor, Jadavpur
University inaugurated the Workshop, which was chaired by Prof.
Omprakash Mishra, Member Secretary GIF. The Program was coordinated
by Prof. Ranjan Chakrabarti, Coordinator UGC Special Assistance
Program, Department of History, Jadavpur University.
11. Fellows of the Foundation have presented 14
papers dealing with various ongoing program and projects in the
Institute’s premises in March- April 2007. Third Round of
internal presentations would commence on 7 May 2007.
12. The Foundation has published the Keynote Address
of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs,
Government of India on India and the Global Balance of Power, delivered
on the occasion of the national launch of the Foundation on 16 January
2007 in New Delhi. This publication forms a part of the Public Lecture
Series Program of the Foundation. It is a mater of deep satisfaction
for the Members, Fellows, Staff and Associates of the Foundation
that inaugural issue features an important policy speech by Shri