South Asia Policy and Research Institute [SAPRI]
South Asia one of the world’s most populous regions remains poor, divided and conflict ridden. Trade, cultural and human exchanges within the region are low. South Asian intellectual discourse is sporadic and yet the development of South Asia is critical to global peace and development for several reasons:
• Two of South Asia’s and the world’s most populous countries – India and Pakistan
– are nuclear armed and have engaged in several conflicts in the past
• Poverty is widespread in the region.
• Environmental problems.
• Extremism and terrorism hamper regional co-operation in South Asia.
This demands that the issues of South Asian economic, social and political development be seriously understood and debated within South Asia.
South Asian thinkers and visionaries especially from India have found recognition and reward across the world over the decades. In many countries in our region Research and University development is hampered due to excessive government controls. India is the only country which has a fairly extensive Policy Research sector, but its influence on domestic and regional policy remains scanty. Others have, at best, small think tanks which are mostly engaged in donor consulting. There is little interaction amongst South Asian thinkers. Conferences, debates or publications that engage the region are scarce. The paucity of professional engagement causes policy discourse to be limited. Even today free markets and globalization are looked upon with suspicion, because people need to be provided accurate information. Leaders are constrained in their ability to bring peace, modernization and development in the absence of a supporting discourse. South Asian leaders who are now beyond public life could develop an important project – a project that will bring together South Asia, intellectually, through informed discourse which will generate better policy and foster peace and progress in the region. Hence we have committed ourselves to attempt to bridge this lacuna, as best as we could by engaging in the creation of a South Asian “Think Tank’ viz SAPRI
• To encourage and stimulate South Asian thinkers through networked research and debate.
• To promote South Asia wide research on social, economic, good governance, environment, conflict and social cohesion and security issues and develop a regional discourse based on sound research.
Board of Directors
7 – 9 members would comprise intellectuals and leaders in several fields.
Research Advisory Panels
Professionals and experts drawn mainly from South Asia, together with some from outside the region who will keep the strategy and focus of SAPRI under review.
Staffing and Research
• Local secretariat and limited research staff
• A network of scholars – South Asian and others with title of Senior Fellow, with stipend and responsibilities for contributing to our conferences and publications.
• Grandstand Conference with Luminary Keynote speakers as well as Advisory panels and -partner organizations meeting in the South Asianregion.
• Seminars and workshops – local and international to focus attention on specifics
• Occasional star lecture series for developing intellectual culture.
• Research and Publications on key themes.
• Media presence through TV programs, documentaries, newspaper op/eds