Economic disparities creating new diversities in India

Prof. Balveer Arora of Jawaharlal Nehru University (left), Forum Global Programs Director Rupak Chattopadhyay and Lecturer K. Kailash of Panjab University participated in the Indian Global Dialogue country roundtable on diversity, held at Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Academics, former elected officials and members of civil society from across India recently gathered in Chandigarh to explore India’s ethnic diversity and its impact on the country’s federal system of government.

The inaugural address of the roundtable was presented by the Cooperation Minister of the Government of Punjab, Captain Kanwaljeet Singh. The roundtables focused on cultural identities, minorities, pluralism, history and institutions, economic growth, political participation, social harmony and political diversity, divergence, and public policies. The highlight of the discussions was the heightened perception among participants of dangers that could ensue from increasing economic disparities. These disparities are creating new diversities that will constitute major sources of tension and strain for the federal polity in the years ahead.

Professor Balveer Arora, from Jawaharlal Nehru University, coordinated the event, held on March 18, 2008.

Participating in the roundtable were: Kanwaljeet Singh, Cabinet Minister for Cooperation and Defence Services Welfare, Punjab Government; Balveer Arora, Professor and Former Rector, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Bhupinder Brar, Professor, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Amarjit Singh Narang, Professor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi; Rumini Bhaya Nair, Professor, and Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi; Tiplut Nongbri, Professor of Sociology and Chairperson of the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Asha Sarangi, Assistant Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Mahendra P. Singh, Professor, University of Delhi, Delhi; Sandeep Shastri, Professor and Director, International Academy of Creative Learning, Bangalore; S.K. Pachauri, IAS( Retd) Formerly Secretary to the Govt of India; Rekha Saxena, Reader, Centre for Federal Studies, New Delhi; Kailash K.K., Lecturer, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Peter Ronald deSouza, Professor of Political Science and Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; Vinay Lal, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), currently Director of the University of California Education Abroad Program in India, New Delhi; Gautam Vohra, Director, Development Research & Action Group (DRAG), New Delhi; Ashutosh Kumar, Reader, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Rekha Chowdhary, Professor, Jammu University, Jammu; Vijay Bhushan, Formerly Secretary to the Gov’t of India in the Ministry of Communications& Director General , India Post; G Gopa Kumar, Professor, Kerala University, Thiruvanthapuram; Suan H Kham Khan, Lecturer, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; Siddiq Wahid, Professor and Vice Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Avantipur (Jammu & Kashmir); Deepak Singh, Reader, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Pampa Mukherjee, Sr. Lecturer, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Navjot, Sr. Lecturer, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Janaki Srinivasan, Lecturer, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Rupak Chattapadhyay, Senior Director, Global Programs and Head, International Conferences, Forum of Federations.

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