November 23, 2018
A group of like-minded politicos, former bureaucrats, industrialists and professionals have come together and formed a not-for-profit organisation ‘Arthashastra Leadership Foundation’ for creating future political leaders in a professional manner. They would by imparted 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”.
“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.
“The foundation 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 policy making institutions and have eminent persons on board as Advisors and resource persons” said foundation chairman 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 underrepresented in public life” said KS Sripathi, former Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu and one of the founder trustees.
The objective was to create future political leaders in a professional manner and make them “Champions of Change”, said Gnana.Rajasekaran, a former IAS officer, eminent filmmaker and one of the founder trustees.
Managing trustee and former bureaucrat Ujagar Singh said,” Our academy shall strive to impart knowledge, develop an 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 Founder Trustee, said “The six-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.
“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 per cent of the learning is imparted through classroom sessions and the rest through various field visits, projects and assignments.”
Besides, J. Balasubramanian, a chartered accountant and RP Krishnamachari, an industrialist and philanthropist, othe trustees are Bader Sayeed, senior advocate and ex-MLA, K.Ramasubramanian, public affairs professional, M.D. Prakash, industrialist, P.S. Raghunathan, management professional and S. Kannan, entrepreneur.
Several eminent citizens from divergent professional and political backgrounds have joined the board of advisors. They include Dr M.S. Swaminathan, founder of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, K. Pandia Rajan, Minister of Tamil Nadu, Sekhar Dutt, former Governor of Chhattisgarh, Prabhat Kumar, former Governor of Jharkand, Jairam Ramesh, former Union Minister, Naresh Gujral, MP, Tarun Vijay, ex-MP, Dr Balachandra Mungekar, former Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai, Vijay Bahadur Singh, former Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh, Janardhana Swamy, alumnus of Indian Institute of Science, Dr HT Sangliana, IPS (retd), Dr Ajoy Kumar, ex-IPS officer, Dr R.Sridharan, ex-MP, Dr N. Jaya Prakash Narayan, IAS (retd), Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, MLA, Dr. M. Ramanan, ex-MLC, M. Ganapathi, IFS (retd), G.Thilagavathi, IPS (retd), Abul Hassan, IAS (retd), Girish Pande, IRS (retd), Dr. Sameer Kaul, oncologist and spokesperson of National Conference, SK Dogra, IPS (retd), Arun Bhatia, IAS (retd), Geeta Ramaseshan, senior advocate, TS Ramakrishnan, alumnus of IIM, Ahmedabad, Dr. A. Selvakumar, industrialist, Badri Seshadri, publisher and MD, New Horizon Media, Dr. Sumanth C Raman, political analyst, Dr. R. Ezhlil Arasan, MD of Dr VRE Research Laboratories, Anurag Batra, editor-in-chief of Business World, Dr (Capt) B. Biswakumar, neurologist. Shanti Shamdasani from Indonesia, Karuna Gopal, president of Foundation of Futuristic Cities, and Kasthuri Shankar, film artiste.