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Media Advisory

India VIPs gather for democracy debate

21 May 2007

ATTENTION: International affairs reporters, editors, assignment desks

Contact: Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations
(510) 643-7944 yanwar@berkeley.edu

High-level politicians, business leaders, activists, scholars and journalists from India will gather at a seminar hosted by the University of California, Berkeley's Center for South Asia Studies. At issue is how democracy - particularly local governance - can be preserved as India grows in economic strength and global clout.

"India is the largest democracy in the world, but can it keep pace with sweeping economic reform?" asks UC Berkeley sociologist Raka Ray, chair of the Center for South Asia Studies. "The entire world has a stake in India's democracy as it remains one of the only stable nations in that vital part of the world."

Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bancroft Hotel, Great Hall, 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Participants will include:

  • Jaipal Reddy, India's union urban affairs minister
  • Mani Shankar Aiyer, India's minister for village level government
  • Thomas Isaac, finance minister for the state of Kerala
  • Digvijay Singh, former chief minister for Madhya Pradesh
  • Vijayendra Rao, economist at the World Bank
  • Kris Gopalakrishnan, incoming CEO of Infosys Technologies Limited, one of India's major software companies.

This seminar, "Indian Democracy: Local Governance and Empowerment," is free and open to the public. It is being co-sponsored by the Center for South Asia Studies and the Foundation for Democratic Rights in India, a Silicon Valley-based non-profit organization. For the conference schedule, visit: http://www.ias.berkeley.edu/southasia/democracy07/


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