Indian MPs, US think tank discuss policy issues

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 06, 2012 13:30 hrs

Washington, July 6 (IANS) A group of 11 visiting Indian MPs and a leading US think tank have discussed the need for focused policy initiatives to accelerate India's economic growth agenda and unleash the vibrant India-US relationship.

How to boost India-US relations with an in-depth understanding of each other's policy initiatives was the focus of discussions at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) during the 6th India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programme.

Karl Inderfurth, former US assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, who chairs the Wadhwani Foundation Programme in US-India Policy Studies Chair at CSIS, briefed the Indian parliamentarians about "our (US) efforts to strengthen the economic partnership between our two countries and accelerate India's economic growth".

Inderfurth also called attention to the work of the Wadhwani Chair at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) in New Delhi, led by Hemant Singh.

"Both of these chairs represent valuable public policy arms of the Wadhwani Foundation," he said.

During the discussions, it emerged that breadth and depth of collaboration between India and the US across a number of policy initiatives has progressed well, according to a media release from the Wadhwani Foundation.

However, it was felt there is significant opportunity to develop focused policy initiatives that not only accelerate the economic growth agenda for India but also deepens the collaboration in geopolitical issues, regional security and defence, among others.

Ajay Kela, president and chief executive officer of the Wadhwani Foundation, said: "It was an opportunity for the Indian MPs - from several states, representing a number of parties - to share with CSIS their views on the state of India-US relations, and where improvements can be made."

"This is precisely the kind of exchange that will, over time, lead to better understanding and concrete results in advancing India-US ties," he said.

The two-way exchange process was vital for understanding the key local issues in each other's countries, thereby enhancing the policy analysis, research and study, Kela added.

The participating MPs were Baijayant Panda (Biju Janata Dal), Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress), Birendra Prasad Baishya (Asom Gana Parishad), Thomas Sangma and Vandana Chavan (both Nationalist Congress Party), Madhu Goud, Yaskhi Manicka Tagore and Mukut Mithi (all Congress), Shivkumar Udasi and Kamlesh Paswan (both BJP).

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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