As terror seizes Mumbai, the government of India stands on shaky political grounds. The authorities' inability to protect the country from terror attacks has left the public outraged, and heated political debates over security policy have taken center stage for the coming election in May 2009.
With the resignation of many top officials, can the ruling Indian National Congress survive this massacre?
From the recent turmoil, India now faces several challenges as the country rises up as one of the main players in global affairs. As India's population grows to more than a billion, it has much to offer.
With a booming middle class, a strong military establishment, and increasing strides in technology, what is keeping India from achieving superpower status?
Experts weigh in on the obstacles that stand in the way of this Asian giant emerging as a political, economic and military powerhouse- The Commonwealth Club of California
Sabeer Bhatia is an entrepreneur and founder of NanoCity and sits on the board of directors of several companies as well as advises start-ups. With NanoCity, he hopes to replicate the vibrance and eco-system of innovation found in the Silicon Valley.
Bhatia was born in India in 1968. Two years into his undergraduate education at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, he transferred to Caltech. He later received his master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, then went on to work at Apple and Fire Power Systems before co-founding Hotmail.
Among his many honors, TIME named him one of the "People to Watch" in International Business in 2002, and he was given the "TR100" award, presented by MIT to 100 young innovators expected to have the greatest impact on technology.
Dr. Rafiq Dossani
Rafiq Dossani is a senior research scholar at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, responsible for developing and directing the South Asia Initiative.
His research interests include South Asian security, and financial, technology, and energy-sector reform in India. He is currently undertaking projects on political reform, business process outsourcing, innovation and entrepreneurship in information technology in India, and security in the Indian subcontinent.
His most recent books are India Arriving, published in 2007 by AMACOM Books/American Management Association, Prospects for Peace in South Asia (co-edited with Henry Rowen), published in 2005 by Stanford University Press, and Telecommunications Reform in India, published in 2002 by Greenwood Press.
Dossani earlier worked for the Robert Fleming Investment Banking group, first as CEO of its India operations and later as head of its San Francisco operations. He has also been the chairman and CEO of a stockbroking firm on the OTCEI exchange in India, the deputy editor of Business India Weekly, and a professor of finance at Pennsylvania State University. He holds a BA in economics from St. Stephen's College, New Delhi, India; an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, India; and a PhD in finance from Northwestern University.
Kanwal Rekhi, is the Chairman of the Centre for Civil Society. Born in Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan) in 1945, Kanwal Rekhi came to India with his family after partition and settled down in Kanpur.
He graduated as an electrical engineer from IIT Bombay in 1967 and did his MS from Michigan University in 1969. He worked as an engineer, systems analyst, and manager for many years before floating his first company, Excelan in 1982. After Novell bought Excelan in 1989, he joined the Board of Directors of Novell and was named Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
He left Novell in 1995 to start afresh a venture capitalist and angel investor. He is actively focused on helping young entrepreneurs getting started and was the motivating force behind K. B. Chandrashekahar's Exodus. Currently involved at the Board Level in many companies including 123signup.com, Instantis, Mediaway, Sierra Atlantic, and Versata, Rekhi is also involved in increasing the visibility of premier educational institutions in India.
Rekhi recently gifted US $ 2 Million to IIT Bombay to help set up a new School of Information Technology. Rekhi was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1987 by the Arthur-Young/Venture magazine. He was named to Board of Advisors to the President of Michigan Tech and was also honoured with a Doctorate in 1997 in Business and Engineering.
Robert J. Rosenthal is executive director of The Center for Investigative Reporting. An award-winning journalist, Rosenthal has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and, most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming its executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in late 2002, and joined CIR as executive director in 2008.
Dr. Ananya Roy
Ananya Roy is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Division of International & Area Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. She also serves as Education Director of the Blum Center for Developing Economies.
Roy's home department is the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley where she teaches in the fields of comparative urban studies and international development. In 2006, Roy was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor UC Berkeley bestows on its faculty.
Also in 2006, Roy was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Mentors award, a recognition bestowed by the Graduate Assembly of the University of California at Berkeley. Most recently, in 2008, Roy was the recipient of the Golden Apple Teaching award, the only teaching award given by the student body.
Roy holds a B.A. (1992) in Comparative Urban Studies from Mills College, a M.C.P. (1994) and a Ph.D. (1999) from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (University of Minnesota Press, 2003) and co-editor of Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America (Lexington Books, 2004).
Her current research and book project is entitled Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Frontiers of Millennial Development (Routledge, forthcoming 2008). The project has received several prestigious awards including the Hellman Faculty Award and the Prytanean Faculty Award, as well as a multi-year research grant from the National Science Foundation.