The “Governance & Public Policy Initiative” (GPPI) was set up in collaboration with the Centre for Policy Research
(CPR), India’s premier think tank in August 2012.
GPPI has been established to develop through sustained discussions and debate - innovative approaches to
effective and accountable governance, promote political and social entrepreneurship and foster a strategic
community that brings together Indian law makers, eminent scholars and academicians, think tank analysts, the
bureaucracy and civil society. GPPI takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.
It aims to provide a cross functional international network of think tanks and academic institutions to continuously
strengthen our public policy initiatives and rely on CPR’s excellent research facility supported by some of the most
renowned scholars in India today.
Set up with the objective of strengthening parliamentary diplomacy that binds India and the world, we intend to
promote thoughtful debate and dialogue on issues which exemplify the key challenges on the global governance
agenda. We hope to engage with Members of Parliament, key leaders from various Indian political parties,
Members of the Indian Legislative Assembly, the country’s current and emerging leaders in our efforts to hone the
governance and public policy discourse in India.
Overall Objectives –
Roundtable discussions, conferences and seminars on thematic issues concerning - empowering
citizens, revitalizing democracy, foreign policy and security issues, gender security and women in India,
health, education, urban development and cyber-security amongst other issues.
Such discussions provide Parliamentarians across party lines, a common platform to share and discuss the
different views and concerns and engage with think tank analysts, civil society groups and consequently
positively influence the policy making process.
Where appropriate, GPPI will host ‘Track-Two’ type dialogues and seminars on internal conflicts that will
seek to increase a sharper understanding of the disputes that remain complex points in our political
Regular programs for lawmakers with renowned international academic institutions: Right now our
current flagship programs include Yale University (US), Princeton University (US), and new programs in
Australia with the Australia India Institute and the Lowe Institute which we have just concluded. We are
exploring future opportunities in Australia with different universities. Our 3 year program with Oxford
(UK) has recently concluded and a new program with King’s College is scheduled to commence in 2014.
More such programs with reputed academic institutions are in the planning stage.
Interactive meetings - with visiting international parliamentary delegations; national and international
thought leaders; renowned economists, strategic analysts and eminent academicians; as well as specialists
from diverse fields.
Series of round-table discussions involving lawmakers in various states across India – as part of its
outreach program to study issues at the grassroots level
GPPI will encourage a vibrant dialogue between our lawmakers and academicians, senior government
officials, leading think tanks experts, business leaders and civil society at large, in raising issues at the
grassroots level as well as those of bilateral and global concerns.
In collaboration with the German Foundation Friedrich
Interactive Discussion on “Media: Regulation vs Self Regulation”
-Ebert-Stiftung, GPPI in December 2012 organised a
roundtable discussion on “Media: Regulation vs Self Regulation”. Late Justice J.S. Verma, Former Chief Justice of
India, and Head, National Broadcasting Standard Association had an in-depth discussion on the issue with 18
Members of Parliament who attended the session.
There have been vigorous discussions on the Indian media's credibility. The issues that have cropped up in recent
times include instances of fabricated & manufactured stories, “paid news”, and credibility of sting operations.
In the recently concluded 9th Media Nation Summit in Philippines, president of the organizing foundation, Bart
Guingona said: “Media is the watchdog of the government, but who watches the watchdog?”
In this regard, the session provided a lively platform to debate and discuss vital issues pertaining to the theme of
“Media: Regulation vs Self Regulation”, which included, but was not limited to questions such as: Has internal self
regulation failed? Should there be a reasonable amount of media restriction and monitoring? What constitutes
Interactive Discussion on “Illiberal Trends in India?”
series of incidents recently have raised questions of
an emerging trend of intolerance in the country:
Limits on speech, banning of artists, censorship of
movies, all seem to suggest a growing intolerant
trend. In this regard GPPI-CPR in collaboration with
the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) organised a
roundtable discussion on "Illiberal trends in India?"
on March 18, 2013.
Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President & Chief Executive,
Centre for Policy Research (CPR) presided over the
session. Cutting across party lines, 21 Members of
Parliament participated in this interactive discussion.
Besides various MPs, Ms Karuna Nundy, Advocate,
Supreme Court of India who specializes in human
rights litigation, also participated in this session. This
discussion was part of the ongoing collaborative series of roundtables with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and
Karuna Nundy, Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Rajeshawar Dyal and Dr. Felix Schmidt
The ruling by the Supreme Court that will
Interactive Discussion on “The SC Verdict: Will it Help Cleanse Politics?”
compel the state and federal lawmakers to
quit politics and be barred from
contesting future elections if they are
convicted of a crime that carries a
sentence of at least two years in jail is
evoking nation-wide interest. The same
bench also struck down a provision in the
Representation of Peoples Act that
protects a convicted lawmaker from
disqualification on the ground of
pendency of appeal in higher courts. There
is no denying that the health of the Indian
political system has degraded over the years. Though this landmark
decision is set to change the face of Indian politics, it also raises concerns
on its implementation. It requires broad based political consensus to
sustain these reforms and overcome the challenges which includes, but is
not limited to questions such as: How will the system be cleaned? How will
they prevent the imminent misuse of the law by politicians for settling
To discuss this GPPI-CPR in association with the German Foundation
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, organised an interactive discussion on August 22,
2013. Ms. Aruna Roy, noted political & social activist and Nikihil Dey had an
in-depth discussion on the issue with 17 multi-party Members of Indian
GPPI, CPR since its inception has already done several programs with the Global Health Strategies (GHS) involving
the Parliamentarians on pertinent issues focusing on child survival and childhood immunization –
Roundtable Series in Collaboration with Global Health Strategies (GHS)
of vaccines such as the low cost Rotavirus Vaccine that can be used to prevent a severe form of diarrhea caused by
rotavirus. The meetings also focused on Pentavalent Vaccine which prevents fatality in children from diphtheria,
pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis-B and Influenza-B.
GPPI-CPR & GHS also organized a roundtable on health issues in London as well.
Roundtable in New York, June 2013: GPPI-CPR in collaboration with GHS and John Hopkins University
organized a similar roundtable in New York on June 26 during the visit of 11 Indian Members of Parliament to
participate in the Yale Program.
The objective of the meeting was to highlight the need to elevate the issue of childhood diseases such as diarrhea
and pneumonia and how Members of Parliament can play a role in ensuring that life saving medicines, tools and
technologies reach children who need them the most.
The meeting also aimed to address questions that Parliamentarians might have around child survival issues and
vaccines; and seek guidance on how Parliamentarians can be advocates for child health in India.
Noted Political & Social Activist Aruna Roy
Nikhil Dey, Rajeshwar Dyal, Aruna Roy,Dr. Felix Schmidt, Ramesh Chandran, Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal,
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Dr. Ajoy Kumar & Hamdullah Sayeed
In consultation with GHS, GPPI-
Parliamentary Coalition on Child Survival
helped create a Parliamentary Coalition
on Child Survival with a group that could
work towards bringing down child
mortality rates. Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, Lok
Sabha MP from Bihar & Dr. Ajoy Kumar,
Lok Sabha MP from Jamshedpur are the
Convenors of the forum while a group of
other Parliamentarians have joined as
The inaugural meeting of the coalition
was held on August 13, 2013. It was
chaired by Mr. P D Rai, MP, Sikkim
Democratic Front. Mr. Keshav Desiraju,
Health Secretary of the Government of
India also attended the session. Besides
the Members of Parliament, the
participants also included various NGOs
who work closely with GHS.
Such a Forum is aimed to spearhead
campaigns within the constituencies of
the legislators to increase access and
demand for comprehensive child
survival interventions for diseases that
kill a large percentage of children in the
country; create awareness and utilise
platforms to raise the profile of child
survival. The members will engage with various experts such as doctors, civil society representatives and
organisations working on child survival to strategise on how to make the issue more visible.
Symposium on Governing India’s Megacities: Organized by CPR Urban Team
Centre for Policy Research and GPPI organized a
Symposium on “Governing India’s Megacities” on Dec 9,
2013. The focus of the Symposium was broadly grouped
into four issues- as local issues that relate to the
governance of the city; inter-local, i.e. issues between
different cities in the region; issues relating to the
metropolitan region; and issues of the region vis-à-vis
the state governments.
The discussion was chaired by Mr. Ajay Maken and Mr.
K. C. Sivaramakrishnan, Chairman, Advisory Board, CPR
and attended by a prominent multi-party group of
Parliamentarians including Dr. E. M. Sudarsana
Natchiappan, Minister of State for Commerce &
Ramesh Chandran, Health Secretary of GoI Keshav Desiraju, & P D Rai, MP
P D Rai addressing the session
Madhu Yaskhi, Saugata roy, Ajay Maken, K C Sivaramakrishnan, Dr. E M S
Natchiappan, Priya Dutt, M S Gill, Ramachandran, Ramesh Chandran
Industry, Mr. M. S. Gill, Ms. Priya Dutt, Mr. Ashok Ganguly, Mr. Jayant Chaudhary, Dr. Sanjeev Ganesh Naik, Mr.
Neeraj Shekhar, Dr. G. Vivekanand and Mr. Manicka Tagore among others.
Interactive Discussion on the Calibre and Merits of our Political Discourse; Questions Raised on
Campaign Finance of Political Parties; and Impact & Relevance of Opinion Polls
As part of the ongoing collaborative series of roundtables with the FES, GPPI-CPR organized a three-segment
discussion that enlivens our present political landscape -
Calibre and Merits of our Political Discourse: Has it reached a
The tone and tenor of our political oration and debate by party
leaders have often been categorized as undignified and lacking in
substance. Do the speeches lack clarity and vision for the country’s
future? Why don’t national leaders publicly speak more
substantively on issues relating to development and governance
rather than resort to personal attacks and embroider speeches with
Questions Raised on Campaign Finance of Political Parties
How to usher in more transparency? For instance questions have
emerged over Aam Aadmi Party’s overseas funding sources. Is it
time to also investigate other major political parties such as Congress and BJP as well as smaller regional parties?
Should Congress’ and BJP’s foreign funds be a matter of public interest? Will bringing them under the RTI scanner
prove to be a step forward in that direction?
Opinion Polls: Should they be regulated and not banned? How far ahead of elections should they be allowed?
Opinion polls have been under severe criticism by some parties as being erroneous and manipulated. Are they true in
disregarding such polls by claiming that they lack credibility? Can we find a middle ground for formulating
regulations instead of banning them?
15 prominent Members of Parliament including Mr. Shantaram Naik, Mr. Bhubaneswar Kalita, Mr. H K Dua, Mr.
Bharat Kumar Raut, Mr. Neeraj Shekhar and Mr. Ponnam Prabhakar had a candid discussion on the theme with Mr.
J M Lyngdoh, Former Chief Election Commissioner who participated in the session.
Rajeev chandrasekhar, H K Dua, Dinesh Trivedi, Piyush Goyal, Hamdullah Sayeed,
Sanjay Jaiswal, Shivakumar Udasi
The Discussion in Progress
Bhakta Charan Das, V P S Badnore, Rajeshwar Dyal, J M Lyngdoh &
INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program
Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program is a
collaborative program between Yale University and GPPI-
CPR designed to provide Indian Parliamentarians with
opportunities to critically think about the current global
issues and leadership challenges in a neutral environment.
With some of the world renowned experts of Yale as well as
specialist scholars from Think Tanks and research
institutes, the parliamentarians get an opportunity to
interact with them on a wide spectrum of global issues as
well as on issues relating to leadership and management.
Lectures, discussions and seminars with renowned
practitioners in their areas complement the curricular
activities of the Yale Program.
The recently concluded seventh India-Yale Program was
held from June 19-27, 2013. The participants of this year’s program included a group of eleven Members of
Parliament from across party lines. Some of the topics which dominated the discussions include- The Changing
Role of Business, Negotiation & Strategy, Perspectives on the Arab Uprising & Prospects of Democracy, China’s Rise
amongst Rising Tension, Women, Work & Politics, Constitutional Theory of Campaign Finance Reform and Leadership
& Control: Paradoxes & Practices of Leadership, among others.
The program was complemented by a series of meetings, discussions, and interactions in New York City, ranging
from the New York Stock Exchange, Journalists from the US media, and the architect of President Obama's high
successful social media strategy in his 2012 re-election campaign.
Over the last six years the sessions at Yale led by distinguished scholars have explored various significant topics
pertaining to rural health, education, poverty and issues relating MDGs besides bilateral and strategic issues. So far
75 Members of Parliament have participated in the Yale program over a span of seven years.
Oxford-Chevening -GPPI-CPR Parliamentarians’ Program
n eight-member multi-party delegation led by Mr. H
K Dua, MP, Rajya Sabha, visited the UK from April 13-
21, 2013 to participate in the third leg of the Oxford-
Chevening—GPPI-CPR Parliamentarians’ Program.
This Program launched in April 2012 is a collaborative
initiative undertaken by the GPPI-CPR, the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Oxford
University. The focus of the program is to expose
Parliamentarians to the UK’s top opinion formers and
decision-makers in a wide range of fields.
The delegation held a series of broad based
discussions with some of the finest academicians and
2014 Group of Parliamentarians with Yale President Richard C Levin
Members of Parliament at the Oxford Campus
scholars of the Department of Politics and
International Relations at Oxford. The week-long
series of tailor-made sessions focused on leadership,
international relations, public policy and tackling key
issues of the 21st century that affect both India and
Among other subjects which dominated the
discussions were Capital Controls & their Implications
on Emerging Economies; Global Financial Crisis & its
Implications for India; China After the Succession;
Climate Change; Energy Security; Perils of
Parliamentary Democracy; and Police Accountability &
Democracy, besides other issues of topical relevance.
After the sessions at Oxford, the delegates attended meetings at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and other UK
Government departments as well as Parliament. They also visited the renowned International Institute for
Strategic Studies (IISS) in London where they had a roundtable on ‘Current Political and Security Issues in South
The second Chevening –
Oxford-Chevening -GPPI-CPR Parliamentarians’ Program
GPPI-CPR program commenced on October 14, 2012 led by Professor Stephen Whitefield,
Academic Director; Mr. Richard Briant Programme Director; and Ms. Genevieve J. Garrido, Programme Manager.
A multi-party group of nine Members of Parliament
participated in the program. The delegation was led
by Mr. Ajay Maken, former Minister for Housing &
Urban Poverty Alleviation.
Academic presentations ranged from parliamentary
ethics to climate change, from China to the US, and
from extremist parties and scepticism within Europe
to the importance of emerging global powers. Broad
themes of 21st Century Challenges, Climate Change
and Global Governance were discussed while other
talks focussed on specific issues including Indian
foreign investment flows (in both directions) and
Individual tutorials provided the MPs with an opportunity to explore their personal interests and to experience
Oxford’s tutorial system.
The delegation also met with members of the Indo-British APPG and other prominent UK parliamentarians to
discuss UK-India relations, trade and parliamentary relations. Members also examined parliamentary practice and
procedure, with specific focus on the role of select committees, the relationship between Parliament and the media
and challenges for new and young parliamentarians.
Following the discussions delegation viewed proceedings in the House of Commons and House of Lords Chambers.
Members of Parliament at the Q & A session at Oxford
Members of Parliament at Oxford-October 2012
The Princeton -
Princeton – GPPI-CPR International Relations & Strategic Affairs Program
GPPI-CPR International Relations &
Strategic Affairs Program is a specially designed
program for the Parliamentarians at the prestigious
Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International
Affairs at Princeton University which focuses
exclusively on strategic and non-proliferation issues.
This program is being organized by the GPPI-CPR and
co-sponsored by Princeton University.
For this tailor made program, Princeton organizes
renowned scholars such as Daniel Ahn, Edward
Felten, Bernard Haykel, John Ikenberry, Martin
Krmaer, Robert Lieber, Stephen Rosen, Anne-Marie
Slaughter and Daniel Markey amongst other fine
group of speakers to hold discussions on wide ranging
The recent program was held in February 2013 which was participated by a group of six Members of Parliament
including Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, National Spokesperson, BJP. The delegation was led by Mr. Dinesh Trivedi,
former Union Minister for Railways.
GPPI-CPR Delegation of Indian MPs
-CPR in collaboration with the Australian High Commission co-organized a delegation visit of a multi-party
group of six Indian Parliamentarians to Australia from May 29 – June 6, 2013.
The visit was interspersed with a roundtable meeting hosted by the renowned Australia India Institute with
Melbourne-based academics, policy makers and business leaders. A wide range of issues were discussed during the
meeting on themes such as India’s Education Challenges and engagement with Australia, India’s Health Challenges
and opportunities for collaboration in this sector, Australian Perspective on Energy Security Challenges in India,
and Indian Ocean & Maritime Security.
We are exploring future opportunities in Australia with different universities.
GPPI-CPR in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert
GPPI-CPR Delegation of Indian MPs to Germany
Stiftung (FES) organized a delegation visit of six
Members of Parliament to Germany from 8 - 13
September, 2013. The delegation was led by Senior BJP
leader and former Finance and Foreign Minister Mr.
The delegation had a packed six-day visit which
included interactive discussions with experts on topics
ranging from political, economic and bilateral relations.
During the course of meeting on day one, the
delegation discussed the pros & cons of the upcoming
“German election campaign" which was followed by an
expert talk on "Building the Economy of Tomorrow-
Nirmala Sitharam, Kalikesh Singh Deo, Dinesh Trivedi, Madhu Yaskhi, Jayant
Chaudhary & Piyush Goyal at Princeton
Indian MPs’ delegations to Germany led by Yashwant Sinha
Indian's Response to the Economic, Ecological and Social
Challenges of Today".
The delegation also had brief round of interactions with the Vice-
President of the German Bundestag, Mr. Wolfgang Thierse;
and Dr. Oliver Schmolke, Head of the Parliamentary Group's
Policy Planning Unit of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of
Germany during which they talked about "The paths to
Sustainable Economic Activity and Social Progress in the Social
"Social Democratic Foreign Policy"; "Sustainability & Decent
Capitalism"; and "Perceptions & Opportunities of German-India Relations" are few other topics they touched upon
during the various discussion sessions with experts. The visit was interspersed with a Roundtable meeting with the
Representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economics; and guided tours of the German Bundestag; the Robert
Bosch Stiftung; and the Bosch GmbH and Bosch Factory.
GPPI-CPR Delegation of Indian MPs to Israel
A five member multi-party group of
Parliamentarians visited Israel from September 28
– October 4, 2013. The visit was jointly organized
by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and GPPI-CPR.
During the six-day visit, the delegation headed by
BJP’s senior Rajya Sabha Member, Dr. Chandan
Mitra, participated in discussions on a range of
topics (such as Water Management, India-Israel
Defence Ties, Bilateral Economic Relations and
Status of Women in Israel) with experts at Hebrew
University. They met senior officials at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs’ Centre for Political Research and
discussed upon the situation in Syria and on Iran.
The delegation attended a presentation on Command and Control System in Public Order and Counter Terrorism
by the Jerusalem Police Command and Control Centre Mabat 2000.
A luncheon discussion was organized with the Head of Israel-India Parliamentary Friendship Association, Ms. Yifat
Kariv MK and separately with the Chairperson of Knesset Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee, Dr. Ronnen Hoffman MK.
The delegation also met Author and Israel Prize laureate in literature Mr. A B Yehoshua in Tel Aviv.
The meetings were interspersed with guided tours to the Israel’s Agricultural Training Facility and Advanced Dairy
Farm; Takkadu Advanced Urban Water Management Company; Netafim Drip Irrigation Plant; and IDE Desalination
Plant to understand Israeli capabilities in agriculture, water and dairy technologies.
The MPs also visited the Yad va Shem Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. On 1 October, the Members participated in a
ceremony at the Indian Soldiers Memorial in Haifa City to commemorate the Indian soldiers who lost their lives
during World War I.
Guided tour to the Bosch Plant
from Left: Dr. Anup Kumar Saha, Ponnam Prabhakar, Jose K Mani, Agatha Sangma,
Ramesh Chandran, Dr. Chandan Mitra, Shimon Mercer-Wood
Mr. Ramesh Chandran
Director, GPPI & Senior Fellow, CPR
Governance & Public Policy Initiative (GPPI)
Centre for Policy Research
Dharam Marg, Chanakyapuri