50 years of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in India

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In 2018, the Konrad-Adenauer-Siftung’s India office can look back on a fifty-year, very successful collaboration with its Indian partners. Since 1968, not only India has undergone immense development and sustainable change, but the KAS' work has evolved in sync with it and continuously adapted its working focus to new conditions and challenges. In 2018, the KAS, along with its partners, supporters and friends, will honor this international collaboration and host a series of events on KAS's key areas of activities.

Peter Rimmele with the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu
Peter Rimmele with the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu

The beginning of cooperation

50 years ago, the work of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in India began with the promotion of youth. In Asia, India was one of the first countries where the foundation started its work. The first partnership was with Vishwa Yuvak Kendra (VYK) in New Delhi, which was founded on the initiative of Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. Until the 1980s, KAS's work focused on the urgent development needs of India, especially on rural development, poverty alleviation and youth empowerment. In addition to the VYK, the KAS cooperated with various partners throughout India, including the Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) in Kolkata and Purulia, the Indian Institute of Youth Welfare (IIYW) in Nagpur, the Yuvak Vikas Trust (YVT) in Ahmedabad and the Institute for Youth and Development (IYD) in Bangalore.

Expansion of activities from the 1980s

The second phase of the work of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in India, from the late 1980s to 2003, was characterized by the active expansion of these projects. The reform and opening policy of the Indian government, which began at the beginning of the nineties, led to far-reaching economic and social transformation processes. KAS responded to the resulting changes with new approaches to strengthening the performance and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises and by spreading the idea of the social market economy. These highly successful projects are being carried out to date with the partners PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) in New Delhi and with the Madras Management Association (MMA) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. New training programs for Panchayati Raj were started with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and Technical Education (CREATE) in Uttar Pradesh including Lucknow and the All India Santal Welfare and Cultural Society (AISWACS) in West Bengal. A special focus was on network building for NGOs. Training-of-trainer-programs have also been launched all across India on rule of law and Panchayati Raj.

In addition, the KAS began by organizing political dialogues between German and Indian politicians on topics such as security as well as international relations, social change and constitutional reforms to strengthen the relationship between Germany and India. In response to September 11th, 2001, a special program on Islam and democracy was held, as well as seminars on international terrorism. These programs have been implemented in partnership with the Center for Public Affairs (CPA), Rashtriya Jagriti Sansthan (RJS), Society for Peace, Security and Development Studies (SPSDS) and the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyzes (IDSA). Regional security policy issues have been addressed with the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Beyond India, KAS also cooperated in South Asia with other institutions like the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BISS) in Bangladesh, the Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) in Nepal and other think tanks under the banner of the Consortium of South Asian Think Tanks (COSATT). In cooperation with the Center for European Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Delegation of the European Commission in New Delhi, the topic of European integration was also discussed.

The rising global political importance of India is taken into account

Since 2003, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has enhanced its country concept for India and partially restructured it to take into account India's growing global political importance. Building on previous successes, projects were continued and incorporated into new programs and collaborations. In formulating the new concept, KAS considered India's new role as a regional and global power, India's increasing importance in overarching global challenges, as well as the current process of reform and transformation India is still undergoing. The concept builds on the "Agenda for the Indo-German Partnership" of 2000 and integrates elements of the Joint Statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chancellor Angela Merkel from the year 2006 on the "Strategic Partnership" to further deepen bilateral relations between India and Germany in different areas. To this end, KAS has extended its cooperation, with new partners like the Forum for Strategic Initiatives (FSI), the United Service Institution of India (USI), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Confederation of Indian Bar (CIB), Center of the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) in addition to continuing with the old network of partners KAS to achieve its goals. With the C.R. Irani Foundation KAS promotes the training of young journalists in India in the framework of “The Statesman School of Print Journalism”.

The following five work areas are currently being dealt with by KAS:

  • Dialogue between the parties and parliamentarians as well as exchange between German and Indian politicians
  • Supporting India in its social, structural and political transformation process based on democracy, the rule of law and secularism
  • Strengthening economic reforms, small and medium-sized enterprises and an effective market economy, and support India's integration into the global economy and the process of globalization
  • Intensifying the dialogue between India and Germany in particular and Europe and other major powers in general on various issues, in particular the current foreign and security policy
  • Promoting the training of young journalists
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Contact person

Peter Rimmele

Resident Representative India

Peter Rimmele
Phone +91 11 26113520
Fax +91 11 45506836
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français,‎ Bahasa Indonesia