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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) is a New Delhi-based think tank set up with the collaborative efforts of India's leading security experts, diplomats, industrialists and philanthropists under the aegis of the Vivekananda Kendra. The VIF’s objective is to become a centre of excellence to kick start innovative ideas and thoughts that can lead to a stronger, secure and prosperous India playing its destined role in global affairs.
VIF is an independent, non-partisan institution that promotes quality research and in-depth studies and is a platform for dialogue and conflict resolution.
It strives to bring together the best minds in India to ideate on key national and international issues; promote initiatives that further the cause of peace and global harmony; monitor social, economic and political trends that have a bearing on India’s unity and integrity; analyse the causes for social and ethnic conflicts leading to extremism and offer policy alternatives; interact with civil society and offer institutional support for exchange of ideas and interaction among conflicting groups; critique public policy and the working of democratic institutions and constitutional bodies; and evolve benchmarks for good governance and efficiency in public institutions.
These are objectives that fall under a broad head called `nation-building’ and often come within the purview of universities and institutions of higher learning. Unfortunately, for reasons best known to those who manage them, these academic bodies have not been able to attend to these tasks. This neglect, it seems, is in some way responsible for the perceived failure of representative bodies and the prevailing inefficiency in the government sector. VIF believes that many of these institutions – which are central to our democratic existence – cannot be expected to work better, unless academia, think tanks and civil society engage with them and critique them on a regular basis. Given its deep and abiding commitment to the deepening of democracy and to the emergence of a strong and self-reliant India, VIF has embarked upon quality research and scholarship in a host of areas in the hope that such studies will improve governance, strengthen national security, integrate India’s foreign policy to the nation’s long-term objectives and bring about much-needed functional efficiency in parliament and other representative bodies and in public institutions.
The Foundation seeks to meet its objectives through six Centres of study, viz
The Centre for National Security and Strategic Studies is VIF’s hub for deliberating on India’s national security challenges, international terrorism, left-wing extremism, militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, insurgency in the North-eastern regions of India and the threats posed by the demographic invasion from Bangladesh.
The Centre for International Relations and Diplomacy is dedicated to the study of global strategic issues, emerging trends in international power equations, India’s foreign policy vis-à-vis its national objectives and its relations with neighbours and the Indian Diaspora.
The Centre for Neighbourhood Studies monitors developments in India’s periphery, focusing on seven neighbouring countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Centre for Governance and Political Studies examines various issues of governance and development with particular reference to India. It will generate and promote ideas that encourage transparency and accountability in government and all public institutions. It encourages scholarships in constitutional and parliamentary studies and also considers policy initiatives to tackle the menace of corruption.
The Centre for Economic Studies monitors global economic trends and policies and its impact on developing economies with particular reference to India. It closely examines the constant interplay between politics and economics, the emerging trends on both sides of the global economic divide and offer suggestions for Indian policy makers.
The Centre for Historical and Civilisational Studies examines the criticality of civilisational aspects in nation-building and in fostering oneness in a plural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nation like India. It has undertaken studies on the economic situation that prevailed during different epochs in the Indian sub-continent to understand the factors that had placed India at the head of the table both intellectually and economically at one time and the events and circumstances that robbed it of its civilisational advantages and relegated it to an unenviable position in the comity of nations.
To achieve these objectives the Vivekananda International Foundation:
Organises events, conferences, lectures, seminars and discussions and invites scholars and subject specialists for exchange of ideas. It organizes exhibitions, cultural events, training workshops for students and other targeted groups and yoga classes to involve citizens across age groups and professions in the task of national regeneration.
Interacts with the diplomatic community in New Delhi to project India’s viewpoint and to understand the views and perceptions of other nations to further India’s political, strategic, economic and civilisational interests.
Engages policy makers on issues of topical interest and share VIF’s views and concerns with them. The Foundation prepares policy briefs for limited circulation among people in government, parliamentarians, members of the judiciary, those heading and working in constitutionally mandated institutions and the civil society.
Develop institutionalized contacts with academic bodies, research institutions, select Indian and foreign think-tanks, universities and organizations representing the Indian diaspora for cross fertilization of ideas, exchange of scholars and sharing of information and experience.
Develops institutionalised contacts with academic bodies, research institutions, select Indian and foreign think-tanks, universities and organisations representing the Indian Diaspora for cross fertilisation of ideas, exchange of scholars and sharing of information and experience
Has already launched its website and intends to publish books, monographs, policy briefs and special reports.
VIF is housed in an elegant building on San Martin Marg in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave. It houses a state-of-the-art library, an auditorium, conference rooms and cabins for scholars.
3, San Martin Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021