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The looming elections in India, the prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan after the U.S. military withdrawal in 2014, the implications of political and economic transitions in China, and the U.S. culture of innovation and entrepreneurship dominated the 7th India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program that began on June 19 and will conclude on June 27.
Yale University, widely recognized for educating leaders in government, business, and civil society worldwide, launched the India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program in 2007. The 2013 program was held in a new partnership with the Governance and Public Policy Initiative of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.
The first six rounds of the India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programs were held in October 2007, June 2008, June 2009, June 2010, June 2011, and June 2012 respectively, with different delegations of Indian parliamentarians. In total, more than eighty members of India’s parliament will have participated since the program was created seven years ago.
The 2013 cohort of 11 members of India’s parliament came to the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut on June 19 to complete a six-day leadership program with Yale faculty that is now being be complemented by a four-day program of meetings, discussions, and interactions in New York City, ranging from the New York Stock Exchange, the United Nations Security Council, the New York Times editorial board, and the architect of President Obama’s high successful social media strategy in his 2012 re-election campaign.
The 2013 participants are drawn from five different national and regional political parties in India, and include the vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Smriti Irani, and the vice president of the Telugu Desam Party, C. Ramesh. In addition to BJP and TDP, there are also representatives from the Indian National Congress Party, All All India Trinamool Congress Party, and Shiv Sena.
Yale President Richard C. Levin stated that “The India - Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program underscores Yale’s longstanding commitment to educating our students for service and leadership. We have now gone a step further to include emerging and mid-career leaders. The program will provide the parliamentarians with opportunities to critically think about the challenges of leadership and to explore freely, away from the legislative arena, the issues facing India.”
In the academic program on the Yale campus, the delegation participated in discussions with Yale faculty on nuclear non-proliferation; the democracy movement in the Arab world; women’s empowerment; elections theory and practices; political and economic developments in China; campaign finance reform; the environmental impact of shale gas development; Afghanistan and Pakistan after 2014; pharmaceutical innovation and patent law; and climate change mitigation.