Page 65 - IACC Newsletter March 2013 Issue no. 9

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Washington DC based Brookings, set to open its center in India
Brookings Institution, a non-profit public policy organization based in Washington DC, announced it would open Brookings
India as a platform for public policy research and analysis. The Brookings’ India center will analyze the opportunities and
challenges facing India. The operational activities and the funding of Brookings India will be primarily by Indians.
Brookings decided to open a center here because India is the largest democracy and one of the fastest growing economies in
the world.
Brookings Institution is one of the oldest independent think-tanks, and has been consistently ranked among the most
influential ones for many decades. In the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go-To Think Tank Rankings in 2012, Brookings
was ranked the world’s best.
Urjit Patel, who was appointed a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India earlier this month, has been a non-resident
senior fellow of the Brookings Institution since 2009.
Vikram Singh Mehta, former chairman of the Shell group of companies, will be the chairman of Brookings India. Mehta
began his career with the IAS in 1978 and had earlier worked with Philips Petroleum and Oil India Limited. “The India centre
will look into Indian issues, drawing on Indian talent. The model of independent policy-relevant research that Brookings has
developed over nearly 100 years will contribute to an informed Indian citizenry and provide useful analysis and
recommendations to Indian policymakers as they deal with these challenges. The connection to Brookings in Washington
will help increase the reach of Indian scholars to the US and elsewhere,” said Mehta.
Brookings India’s research will focus on domestic and global economics, foreign policy, and energy and infrastructure policy.
Nita and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, Rahul Bajaj of Bajaj Auto, S Gopalakrishnan of Infosys, and Kiran Mazumdar-
Shaw of Biocon are among the persons who support the Brookings’ India initiative.
Earlier, Aspen Institute had set up an Indian chapter. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is also expected to start
an Indian center. Although the Chinese had a larger representation in global think-tanks, Indian scholars and businessmen
are increasingly being affiliated with them.
Pentagon assures Hagel’s commitment to Indo-US partnership
As Chuck Hagel took over as Barack Obama’s new defence secretary amid a controversy over his comments on India’s role in
Afghanistan, Pentagon – the US defence department headquarters – said that Hagel will work to strengthen ties to India.
Hagel’s strong commitment to fostering a close defence relationship was reported Wednesday by Washington Free Beacon,
the rightwing online newspaper that had disclosed a video-recording of a speech Hagel made in 2011 about Indian aid to
Afghanistan. “Secretary Hagel is strongly committed to the US strategic partnership with India and to fostering an even
closer defense relationship with India that builds upon the work of Secretary (Leon) Panetta, Deputy Secretary (Ashton)
Carter, and their Indian counterparts,” Free Beacon quoted Pentagon spokesperson George Little as saying.