Governance and Political Studies
Politics of Opportunism: Regional Parties, Coalitions, Centre-State Relations In India

With over 2000 political parties registered with the Election Commission and national parties no longer being able to garner a simple majority, the rules of the game of politics in India are fast changing. There is little doubt that coalition governments are here to stay. But what about ideology and vision, dignity and ethics? Will they find a place in this power-hungry world of political opportunism? Rampant horse trading, brazen poaching of MLAs, defection and an inherent instability define coalition politics today the worst manipulator of the popular mandate.

Policy Initiatives for The New Government - Building a ‘New India’

On May 30, 2019, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Modi was sworn in after the NDA registered an unprecedented 350 seats in the Lok Sabha. The new government will undoubtedly continue to implement the various good policies that it initiated in 2014-2019. However, the ambition of building ‘New India’ will require deeper reforms in a variety of areas.

Release of Book ‘Caste as a Social Capital’ by Prof. R Vaidyanathan

A seminal book, namely, ‘Caste as a Social Capital’, revisiting Caste as playing an important role in promoting economic growth, written by Professor R Vaidyanathan was released on 9th April 2019 at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi. The author is a distinguished economic thinker who retired as professor of Finance at the IIM Bangalore. He was also the former member of the National Security Advisory Board.

Round Table at the VIF on Elections 2019 by Dr. A. Surya Prakash, Chairman, Prasar Bharti

During the course of the elections, Dr. A Surya Prakash visited the states of Karnataka, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to understand how the people were voting. He shared his impression and insight during two round table discussions held at the Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi.

Panel discussion on the book, ‘Portraits of Hindutva: From Harappa to Ayodhya’, authored by Shri Rajesh Singh

The discussion traced the evolution of the Hindutva phenomenon since the Vedic period to the present, and recorded the contributions of key great personalities to its growth which led to the proliferation of Hindutva (but not anti-others) sentiments - Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanuja, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, to name the tallest among them. It was pointed out that the narrative of the Hindu-Muslim divide was first created and then promoted to discredit the Hindutva elements.

Seminar on Challenges of Migration

Organised in the backdrop of Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 and its implications, the Seminar delved into such issues as citizenship by illegal means, serious social tensions created by it, and the genuine fear of the Assamese losing their identities. It was considered that a well thought refugee law will institutionalize the whole process of migration even as it will safeguards our interest and must be evolved in India. The Bill therefore was a progress in the right direction.

Round Table Discussion on Elections-2019

A round table discussion was held at the VIF to discuss the various aspects of Election 2019. Dr A Surya Prakash, Chairman Prasar Bharti, led the discussions.

20 - 22 Feb 2019 - VIF Workshop for Foreign Diplomats on ‘Introduction to India’s Strategic Thinking’

In an endeavour to introduce foreign diplomats posted in India to the conceptual frameworks and thought processes in the light of India’s cultural moorings and traditions that go into crafting of foreign and security policies, 47 foreign diplomats were briefed on India’s foreign and security policies, cultural ethos and historical and civilizational roots that goes into forming India’s world view.

Prof R Vaidyanathan, Caste as Social Capital, Westland Books, 2019, Chennai, PP. 131

Prof Vaidyanathan’s book, Caste as Social Capital, challenges several myths relating to the working of the caste system in India. Noting that while caste is commonly identified with oppression and discrimination, he points out that it also has positive aspects which have not been researched adequately. The main argument of the book is that “the jati or community or caste plays a major role in entrepreneurship and also facilitate the upward mobility of the whole caste rather than individual.”

Towards More Effective Education: Emergence of STEM Education in India (a VIF Task Force Report)

Science and innovation have been long-embedded in India’s civilisation and culture. Today, they are playing an important role in shaping the country’s future in an increasingly globalised world. The current pace of technological change across the world is unprecedented and is opening

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