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India workshop for future generations


Government Ministers, industry leaders and senior academics met in New Delhi, India, this week for a workshop, led by Pascal Lamy and Nandan Nilekani, under the auspices of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations.

The workshop inspired rich discussion and debate on the critical question of how to bridge the gap between knowledge and action to address today’s global challenges, which is the central theme of the Commission’s work.

India has a rich history of long-term national planning, but it was also acknowledged that many of the megatrends that will shape the next century, from demographics and migration, to geopolitical shifts, and sustainability issues, present acute challenges and opportunities in India and throughout Asia.  As one participant explained, ‘India faces an immense challenge of imagination, institutional framing and implementation’ in confronting these issues.

Chaired by Pascal Lamy, the workshop considered India’s role and ambition in the New World Order; the changing nature of information technology and citizen power in 21st century governance; and the potential of new ‘game-changing’ projects in India, such as Nilekani’s Unique Identification project, to address critical issues of poverty within the country. 

Participants at the workshop included:

  • Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India
  • Sanjaya Baru, Director for Geo-Economics and Strategy, The International Institute for Strategic Studies, (IISS)
  • Nitin Desai, Former Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations
  • Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization; and Chair of the Commission for Future Generations
  • Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
  • Prakash Menon, Military Advisor to the National Security Council Secretariat
  • Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India; former CEO, Infosy
  • Sam Pitroda, Adviser to Prime Minister of Indian on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovations
  • Srinath Raghavan, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
  • Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Rural Development, Government of India
  • K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, PHFI
  • Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, (IIHS)
  • Shekhar Shah, Director General, National Council of Applied Economic Research
  • Ranganathan Sukumar, Managing Editor, Mint
  • M. K. Venu, Managing Editor, Financial Express

This workshop was part of the series of outreach opportunities scheduled around the world as part of the consultation process for the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations, which is to report its findings and recommendations later in 2013.

(Pictured is Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India)