A New Think-Tank for exp-national Indians

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by Rage, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    A New Policy Formulation Think-Tank for Expat-Nationals

    I have been thinking on the lines of a new think-tank, to tap into the potential of some expatriate-nationals out there. It will be an open-source organization submitting papers to the Government of India on a whole range of policy-fronts. I think DFI should take the initiative in this direction. And I want your thoughts on its feasibility.

    * The organization will be open-sourced, purely voluntary and comprised of Indian nationals residing abroad.
    * The organization will initially be lose. After a core membership or critical mass is attained, members will be verified for access and further new members will be issued a unique pin / ID by the Government of India, after confirmation of their residence and nationality. We will need to work with the Government of India for this.
    * The purpose of the organization, will be to bring western expertise, gained abroad to the Indian policy environment.
    * The organization will primarily be web-based and can operate out of one of the offices of our members in the United States. In time, given funds and the availability of manpower, personnel and favourable responses, we can take it to a whole new level.
    * The organization will initially comprise of a series of editors, who will take responsibility for formulating ideas and opinions into policy papers. I have experience in penning policy papers, and I volunteer to become the first founding editor.
    * The organization will be divided into several departments: i) economic, military, intra-party political, domestic n'tnl security, international institutional diplomacy, etc.; ii) based on availability of personnel with technical expertise in these fields; and iii) subject to their willingness to pen, and work with others in penning, ideas, opinions and policy-alternatives in a coherent fashion.
    * Members will work together with others with technical knowledge in their fields. The technical knowledge of field will correspond to their profession of choice, usually their careers. Or any other field, they feel they have a sufficiently demonstrable interest or expertise in.
    * Members of each department will work on one, or several, policy issues together depending on who wants to work on which. These will, then, be submitted to editors who will work in tandem to produce a policy alternative, that is coherent and readable by bureaucrats.
    * The policy papers will be presented to the government on an ut exigo <as completed> basis. There will be no pressure on members to complete papers or coherent drafts on time or in particular time frames, but they will be encouraged to do so.
    * The idea is an open-policy formulation to add nuance to the Government of India, and its policy formulation. The idea initially enveloped as one for expat-nationals, based on the fact that they have an education not usually attained in India, but will be extended to those resident in India as well, based on response.
    * There is no commitment. And once we have critical mass, members can freely move in and out of departments. I urge you all, to take this opportunity to do something for your nation. And to contribute to it, in your own small way.​

    So, what do you think?
  3. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".

    idea is very good and well refined, something we (the dfi staff and through certain members) have tried doing it in our little ways though not as well thought out as you have presented the case and then the effort was being pushed around with indians residing in india where we took the opportunity to get in touch with possibly the top guys, introduce them dfi the concept behind and encourage them to use dfi the platform for pushing their ideas but for reasons that constrained them it never took off.

    the two main reasons that then constrained them were

    1) few of them were looking for monetary gains and we were in no position to match that, nor did we ever have enough funds.

    2) these people who write stuff online/come on talk shows have contracts in place with corporate which is restrictive and they pen down thoughts in favor of such corporate which brings a bias in their writing or expert opinions.

    the other issue i see here is we will require someone or a group of people sitting in delhi to coordinate with all the bureaucrats which can be hugely time consuming and extremely tedious and yet again the said person's expenses and lot more will have to be met, and arranging all these aspects will present a pretty big challenge.

    that said, if we can have some decently well known names willing to work with us on the project, present their work through dfi, then yes we can and should certainly find ways of working this out on lines as presented by you.
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Thanks for that detailed response.

    I've actually thought about some of that, which is why I proposed:

    * an expat-based organization, at least initially, to eliminate some of the Corporate bias that stems from people wanting to reach Government, in all sortsa nefarious and influential ways.
    * a series of editors, who will all be hand-picked, most likely from DFI, and then replaced when needed by a council, also formed of eminent luminaries and people we trust. A guy like Malloy Krishna Dhar can play an important role in this aspect.
    * The purpose of the organization will only be to submit an alternative policy proposal, based on education and experiences received in the West, to the Government of India for review and appraisal. It will not be to pull strings or to use someone in Government to get what we want, atleast not yet. Modest goals will remain the target.
    * We will need to get in touch with someone in the Foreign Office and have them, to act as liaison between us and the Government of India. That shouldn't be a problem, given that the Foreign Office is pretty efficient these days. I know someone in the Foreign Office and will get in touch with them as soon as I can; and I would urge you all to get in touch with any body you know or think might be helpful to us. We might however need to register ourselves with a competent authority.
    * The key here is to network. Network with people across the globe, in different fields and with different interests. A person like Lethalforce or you, for example, could help in the formulation of banking policy. A person like ejazr could help in the formulation of middle-east related policy. A person like niharjhatn or Lurkerbaba or packetborne or Tolaha, in the formation of IT-security initiatives. A person like p2prada or bengalraider, in the expedition of defence-procurement policies. A person like manc in the advocacy of football. A person like Kunal Biswas, in the betterment of living conditions for soldiers. Take an issue you're passionate about, and work around it. And DFI can act as a platform to that end.
    * I don't think we will require an office. At least, not when starting out. And the reason I say this, is because, existing policy papers, books, articles and miscellaneous information are widely available at all big libraries across the West. What we will require, however, is a computer; and a person making backup disks for all the information we store. And all of those participating from India will have access to the internet, anyway.
    * Finally, the idea is to submit. It is not to champion or promote. At least, not yet.​

    Give me the names and info of some of those you thought might be useful. And you, and I, can start getting in touch with them.

    * For an idea on good articles and, also, about policy papers, please see: http://www.think-bank.org/

    No, not always.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

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