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Politicos, Ex-Bureaucrats, Industrialists And Professionals Come Together To Establish Political Leadership Academy

Many eminent citizens including Dr. M.S. Swaminathan join the Advisory Board

A group of like-minded politicos, former bureaucrats, industrialists, and professionals have come together and formed a not-for-profit organization “Arthashastra Leadership Foundation”. “The group comprises concerned citizens who have experience and expertise in the domains of public affairs, politics, governance, diplomacy, and policymaking. We intend to leverage their collective skill sets towards leading a change in political culture through education,” said Dr. R. Nataraj, one of the Founder Trustees who is a retired DGP and currently MLA of Mylapore assembly constituency.

“The Foundation under its aegis will establish a political leadership academy with an aim of readying youth for public office and civil life through a structured programme. Besides offering academic programmes, the academy will also undertake research projects and outreach programmes on the topics pertaining to public affairs, politics, governance, and public policy. The Academy will establish active partnerships with political, government and policymaking institutions and have eminent persons on board as Advisors and resource persons,” said Chairman of the Foundation Mr. E.Ponnuswamy, a Former Union Minister. 

“Our philosophy is that every person possesses leadership potentials and leadership can and should be taught. The vision is to foster principled leadership through a process-oriented model that is purposeful, ethical, inclusive and empowering with special attention to advance the leadership of groups historically under-represented in public life,” said Mr. KS Sripathi, Former Chief Secretary, Govt of Tami Nadu and one of the Founder Trustees as he explained why a training programme like this is crucial.

“The objective is to create future political leaders in a professional manner by imparting them with the in-depth knowledge, high moral values and comprehensive training that will encourage and equip them to adopt developmental politics and accountable governance making them, "Champions of Change", commented Mr. Gnana Rajasekaran, a Former IAS Officer, eminent Film Maker and one of the Founder Trustees. 

Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Ujagar Singh, a Former Bureaucrat and Managing Trustee said, ”Our academy shall strive to impart knowledge, develop attitude and enhance skills to transform young aspirants as future public leaders. We seek to improve the quality of political and governmental leadership at different levels. We aid to accelerate development of persons with potentials to become better political leaders.”

Dr. D. Srinivasan, an Eminent Psychiatrist and a Founder Trustee said, “The 6 month’s full-time Diploma programme shall comprise different modules covering whole gamut of regional, national and global political affairs and related subjects to be handled by eminent resource persons. The course shall be offered through a combination of online and offline classroom sessions. Any person aged 21 years and above with a graduate degree will be eligible and selection will be through entrance test and personal interview. Course fee details are being worked out. Deserving candidates will be offered fee concessions and scholarships” 

He further added, “The Programme shall be a combination of classroom lectures, assignments, projects and field visits including local, state, national and international study tours. It is an experiential learning program where 50% of the learning is imparted through classroom sessions and the rest through various field visits, projects, and assignments. 

“The perception of politics is surely negative, but not only because it is considered evil and dirty, but because it pays too little to the honest politician. As we need to do something to change it, we will have to prepare public spirited educated youth and empower them. We hope our initiative will be helpful to the aspiring youth," opined Mr. J. Balasubramanian, a Chartered Accountant and a Trustee.

Mr. R.P. Krishnamachari, Industrialist and Philanthropist said, “I want to expend part of my philanthropic efforts on building capacities in public leadership through training. Capacity building is emerging as a key area for donors who are keen on ushering systemic changes. That is why I gladly joined this initiative as one of the Trustees.” 

Other Trustees of the Foundation are Ms. Bader Sayeed, Senior Advocate and Ex-MLA, Mr. K.Ramasubramanian, Public Affairs Professional, Mr. M.D. Prakash, Industrialist, Mr. P.S. Raghunathan, Management Professional, and Mr. S. Kannan, Entrepreneur. 

Several eminent citizens from divergent professional and political backgrounds have joined the board of Advisors and it includes, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Founder, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation / Ex MP, Mr. K. Pandia Rajan, Minister, Government of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Sekhar Dutt, Former Governor, Chhattisgarh, Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Former Governor of Jharkand,  Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Former Union Minister, Mr. Naresh Gujral, MP, Mr. Tarun Vijay, Ex MP, Dr. Balachandra Mungekar, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai / Ex- MP, Mr. Vijay Bahadur Singh, Former Advocate General, Govt of Uttar Pradesh/ Ex-MP, Mr. Janardhana Swamy, Alumnus of Indian Institute of Science/ Ex MP, Dr. HT Sangliana, IPS (Retd)/Former DGP, Karnataka/ Ex- MP, Dr. Ajoy Kumar, Doctor/ Ex-IPS Officer/Ex-MP,  Dr. R.Sridharan, Ex-MP, Dr. N. Jaya Prakash Narayan, IAS(R)/ MLA, Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, MLA, Dr. M. Ramanan, Ex Member of Legislative Council (Maharashtra), Mr. M. Ganapathi, IFS (Retired), Ms. G.Thilagavathi, IPS (Retd), Mr.Abul Hassan, IAS (Retd),  Mr. Girish Pande, IRS (Retd),  Dr. Sameer Kaul, Oncologist and Spokesperson of National Conference, J & K, Mr. SK Dogra, IPS (Retd), Mr. Arun Bhatia, IAS (Retd), Ms. Geeta Ramaseshan, Senior Advocate, Madras High Court, Mr. TS Ramakrishnan, Alumnus of IIM, Ahmedabad/ Political Analyst, Dr. A. Selvakumar, Industrialist,  Mr. Badri Seshadri, Publisher & MD, New Horizon Media (P) Ltd, Dr. Sumanth C Raman, Political Analyst, Dr. R. Ezhlil Arasan, MD, Dr.VRE Research Laboratories Pvt Ltd.,  Mr. Anurag Batra, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Business World Magazine and Dr. (Capt) B. Biswakumar, Neurologist. Ms. Shanti Shamdasani, Indonesia, Ms. Karuna Gopal, President, Foundation of Futuristic Cities, Hyderabad and Ms. Kasthuri Shankar, Film Artiste.

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