Modi-Obama summit: A paradigm shift in India-US relations

Monday, December 8, 2014
Center in Delhi

Monday, December 8, 2014


Center in Delhi

India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi—once blocked from getting a U.S. visa—visited Washington to meet President Barack Obama in late September. This panel session examined India-US relations following this important meeting of the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies.

Panelists included:

Dr. Shashi Tharoor – An elected member of the Indian Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala, author, United Nations peace-keeper, refugee worker, human rights activist, former Minister of State for Human Resources Development and former Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr. Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience.

Dr. Tarun Vijay – Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, President, Parliamentary Group on India-China Friendship, Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense Ministry, Member, Parliamentary Consultative Committee on External Affairs, Member, Parliamentary Committee on Official Language, Convener, BJP Parliamentary Party Research and Policy Studies Cell.

Journalist and author Gurcharan Das – Das is an Indian author, columnist and public intellectual. He is the author of The Difficulty of Being Good: On the subtle art of dharma which analyzes the epic, Mahabharata. His international bestseller, India Unbound, is a narrative account of India from independence to the “global information age”, and has been published in many languages and filmed by the BBC.

Ambassador Lalit Mansingh – Mansingh joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1963. Ambassador Mansingh has more than 40 years of extensive international experience in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He is a former foreign secretary, the highest diplomatic rank in India. He served as Indian ambassador to the United States and the United Arab Emirates and as India’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom and Nigeria. He also was deputy chief of mission in the Indian embassies in Kabul, Brussels and Washington, D.C. He has dedicated his career to promoting India and its role in the global marketplace.

Ambassador Kanwal Sibal – Sibal joined the Indian Foreign Service in July 1966 and served as the Forein Secreary and also as India’s ambassador to Turkey, Egypt, France and Russia. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the East-West Institute and the Vivekanand Foundation.

Ambassador Meera Shankar – She served as India’s Ambassador to the United States and to Germany. She worked with three Prime Ministers on foreign policy and security issues.

Dr. Rajiv Kumar – Renowned economist, former director and chief executive of ICRIER and Secretary General of FICCI and chief economist of CII, and presently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Policy Research.
Michael Pelletier – Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States, New Delhi, India
Discussant/Moderator – Ambassador Surendra Kumar-Former Ambassador to Libya, Mozambique, DRC, Eritrea & High Commissioner of India to Kenya, Swaziland & Malta. Kumar has served as India’s PR to UNEP & UN Habitat, Minister at HCI, London & Consul General of India in Chicago. He retired as a Secretary MEA/Dean of the Foreign Service Institute.

This program was sponsored by International House at the University of Chicago, International Houses Worldwide, the UChicago Center in Delhi  and the Indo-American Friendship Association in New Delhi.

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