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Brookings India keen on presence in Chennai

Strobe Talbott, president, Brooklings Institution. - Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Strobe Talbott, president, Brooklings Institution. - Photo: K.V. Srinivasan  

Strobe Talbott, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and president of Brookings Institution, is of the view that governments are now quite open to independent inputs on policy matters, providing a platform for think tanks to make a difference in a democracy.

“The rationale for a think tank for a great democracy is the same in India as it is in the U.S.,” Mr. Talbott said in a conversation with The Hindu on Wednesday. The best ideas, he said, came from those who were objective and free to voice their views.

“Think tanks provide an environment in which high quality independent thinking can be turned into pragmatic recommendations for those in government and leadership in society,” he said. They could provide a forum for a constructive debate on public policy.

Mr. Talbott, who served in the Clinton Administration, visited the office of The Hindu, along with his colleagues from Brookings India, for an interaction with journalists and researchers in The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy.

Brookings wants to evolve from a national to a global institution. And within a year and a half of its presence in New Delhi, Brookings India is keen on a presence in Chennai.

Mr. Talbott explained that one would not get the full picture about a diverse country like India if one looked at it from only one location. Besides the importance of the Chennai perspective, the vibrancy of the private sector was also a factor in the institution’s keenness to have a presence here.

Vikram Mehta, chairman of Brookings India, said research at the institution was aimed at making a positive impact on policy-making.

Earlier, former National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, and Director (Research) of Brookings India, Subir Gokarn, joined Mr. Talbott and Mr. Mehta in an interaction on Indo-U.S. relations and trade.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2020 9:17:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/brookings-india-keen-on-presence-in-chennai/article6545630.ece

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