Forum events in India

Forum President George Anderson visited India in February 2006, where he called on the President of India, His Excellency Shri Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, as well as the Home Minister, The Hon. Shri Shivraj V. Patil. Mr. Anderson was accompanied by Forum Board member Mr. S. Lakshminarayanan, Secretary of the Inter-State Council Secretariat and Forum Strategic Council member Mr. Ravi Dhingra, Adviser, Inter-State Council Secretariat, Government of India.

While in India, Mr. Anderson addressed three conferences. He spoke on Feb. 15 at the national conclave on India’s Energy Security: Major Challenges in the Short, Medium and Long Term, organized by the Observer Research Foundation. The topic was "Managing Energy Policy in Federations: Reflections on Canadian and Other Experiences.”

To coincide with Mr. Anderson’s visit, the Forum organized a conference on Democracy, Devolution and Development in partnership with the Centre for Federal Studies, Hamdard University in New Delhi. This event provided an opportunity for a book launch. Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, Hon. Minister for Panchayati Raj, launched the second Global Dialogue book, Distribution of Powers and Responsibilities in Federal Countries. Mr. Anderson also shared the platform with the Hon. Minister for Urban Development, Shri Jaipal Reddy, at a meeting of the Global Network on Local Governance hosted by the Institute of Social Sciences in New Delhi on Feb. 24. The Institute is an organizational partner of the Forum. In the area of fiscal federalism, the Forum of Federations organized a country roundtable for the fiscal theme of the Global Dialogue Program, in partnership with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, on Aug. 20, 2005.

Papers given included ones by Indian experts at the institute as well as international experts from the International Monetary Fund and the University of Torino. The papers and presentations dealt in comparative fashion with the experiences of India, Brazil, South Africa, Ethiopia and Ghana. The institute will publish the papers as part of its working paper series and ultimately as an edited volume. The country roundtable on fiscal federalism was followed by a two-day workshop in Delhi on Feb. 27-28, 2006, to discuss "Federalism in a Globalizing Environment.” The workshop engaged officials from the Central Ministries of Finance, Rural Development and Commerce, as well as their state equivalents and select members from the state finance commissions.

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