INDIA FOUNDATION: CHENNAI CHAPTER LAUNCHED - A
brief report by Dr.
A Consultation Meeting on the Chennai Chapter of Global India
Foundation was held on Monday, August 18, 2008, at Narmada
Hall, Courtyard By Marriott Hotel, Anna Salai, Chennai. The
meeting was attended by eminent dignitaries from the academic,
the defence, the administrative as well as the business community
of Chennai. The meeting was primarily held to outline a future
plan for the Chennai Chapter of the Foundation. The Foundation
was represented by Admiral P.J. Jacob (Chairman, Global India
Foundation), Prof. Omprakash Mishra (Member Secretary, Global
India Foundation), Mr. Khalid Mehkri (Member, Executive Council,
Global India Foundation) and Dr. Lopamudra Bandyopadhyay (Fellow,
Global India Foundation). The meeting was hosted by Doshi
Housing Ltd., represented by Mr. Mehul Doshi and Mrs. Hetal
Doshi , and Mr. P. J. George, an eminent advocate from Chennai.
meeting commenced with Mr. P. J. George inviting Admiral Jacob,
Prof. Mishra and Mr. Ramesh Kymal (Managing-Director, Vestas,
India) to begin the proceedings. Admiral Jacob outlined the
necessity for the establishment of the Foundation and spoke
at length about the need for a Channai Chapter of the Foundation.
His speech was followed by a presentation by Dr. Lopamudra
Bandyopadhyay on the ongoing projects and programmes of GIF
as well as the work that has been done since its inception.
Prof. Mishra then spoke on the future plans of GIF, including
the global conference on “India as a Global Player:
Challenges Ahead,” that would be held in the near future.
He elucidated the philosophy of the Foundation while reiterating
on the Foundation’s stated objective of promoting ‘National
Resilience’ and ‘International Interdependence’.
A) (Pic B)
A: From left to
right : Prof Omprakash Mishra, Member Secretary, GIF,
Admiral P. J. Jacob, Chairman, GIF, .Mr. Ramesh Kymal,
Managing Director, Vestas India, Pic
overview of the participants
Ramesh Kymal was initiated as the President of the Chennai
Chapter of Global India Foundation. Considering Mr. Kymal’s
expertise in the field of Energy Security, his association
with the Foundation should prove particularly beneficial.
Mr. Kymal welcomed the Foundation’s foray into the academic
community of South India.
Once the floor was thrown open for discussion, there were
quite a few relevant questions, comments and suggestions that
ensued from the participants. Prof. Gopalji Malviya, Department
of Defence and Strategic Studies, University of Madras, stated
that southern India would be an extremely fertile terrain
for the objectives of GIF. While speaking about the macro
and micro level parameters he said that the new think tank
would be in public interest, and cater to the interests of
the student community and the civil society in the region.
Mr. N. Vittal, former Central Vigilance Commissioner, raised
few pertinent questions. He suggested that the Foundation
should focus on working towards making India not only a global
player, but also a comprehensive national, military and economic
power. He raised important questions on the Indo-US Nuclear
Deal as well as other issues relating to energy. He also highlighted
the importance of harnessing India’s power as an emerging
player in the contemporary international order and concluded
that an action plan should be formulated to make India a comprehensive
Commodore S. Shekhar spoke at length comparing India’s
military capability with that of China. He asked the Foundation
to focus more on inculcating national will and embarking upon
the same through the mode of a more detailed programme. Prof.
S. Chella Rajan, from IIT, Madras, spoke on the need for further
research on climate change and environmental sustainability.
Others in the audience, eminent academicians and bureaucrats,
wished to know more about alternative global governance as
well as stressed on the need for a critical reflection on
the emerging world order. Emphasis was also laid on the concept
of the paradigm of knowledge as power and the rediscovery
of India’s strategic culture.
In response to the queries and comments, Prof. Mishra stated
that the time was once again ripe for India to work towards
a global balance of interests and opportunities through flexible
coalitions. He further spoke at length about the need for
a fresh look at India’s foreign policy doctrines in
the light of the changing world scenario. Admiral Jacob (Chairman,
GIF) concluded the meeting by proposing a vote of thanks.
He thanked eminent personalities like Mr. Ramesh Kymal (Managing-Director,
Vestas, India), Maj. Gen. EJ Kochekkan, AVSM, SM, VSM (General
Officer Commanding, Chennai) and Mrs. Kochekkan, Inspector
Gen. SPS Basra, YSM, PTM, TM, Cmde Van Haltern, Mr. P. J.
George (Advocate), Mr.Venu Prasad (Entrepreneur), Mr. Amit
Varma (IPS), Mr. K. V. Ramana Shetty (Entrepreneur) and other
participants for ensuring the success of the meeting. The
meeting concluded with the announcement that Mr. Kymal would
be the President of the Chennai Chapter of the Foundation,
while other office bearers and committee members would be
nominated once the Chapter begins its formal journey.