India hosts regional conferences on federalism

Amitabha Pande, Secretary of the Inter-State Council Secretariat of India, Suresh A. Keswani, MP, and federalism experts Peter Meekison and Rupak Chattopadhyay at a federalism roundtable held in Majorda, India.

The Forum of Federations recently held a series of regional roundtables on federalism in India. The roundtables, co-organized by the Forum of Federations and India’s Inter-State Council Secretariat, were designed to engage policy-makers on the themes of the Fourth International Conference on Federalism to be held in New Delhi in November of this year. The themes are management of diversity, fiscal relations, inter-governmental relations and local government.

Representatives from the four southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karanataka and Tamil Nadu attended the third roundtable, held in Kochi on July 26 and 27, 2007. Keynote addresses were delivered by Mr. Thomas Isaac, finance minister of Kerala, Dr. N. R. Madhava Menon, member of the recently constituted Commission on Centre-State Relations, and Mr. Suresh Prabhu, MP and former union minister of power. International experts Yash Ghai and Jill Cottrell (members of the Constitution Unit of United Nations Development Program in Nepal) and Peter Meekison (formerly of University of Alberta) also participated in the roundtable.

The final round table in the series was held in Majorda, Goa on July 30 and 31, 2007. Representatives from the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan attended the event. Keynote addresses were delivered by the chairman of the recently-constituted National Administrative Reforms Commission, Mr. M. Veerappa Moily, and Mr. J. P. Singh, chief secretary of the government of Goa. Federalism expert Peter Meekison and head of international conferences at the Forum of Federations, Rupak Chattopadhyay, also participated in the roundtable.

The first two roundtables, held in June of this year, took place in Guwahati, in the state of Assam, and Nanital in the state of Uttarakhand.

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