FORA.tv Speaker - Mani Shankar Aiyar

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Biography

Mani Shankar Aiyar is a former Indian diplomat turned politician. He was born in Lahore on the 10th of April, 1941. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party and was a part of the first (2004–2009) Cabinet of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. While in the Cabinet, he served as the Union Minister of Panchayati Raj, a system of local government particular to South Asia. He served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas from May 2004 through January 2006 and of Youth Affairs and Sports till 2009. He was also the first Minister for the Development of the North East Region (DONER).

He has represented the Mayiladuthurai constituency of Tamil Nadu in the 14th Lok Sabha. He is currently a nominated member of parliament from the Rajyasabha. He served 26 years in the IFS, the last five of which were on deputation to the Prime Minister's Office under Rajiv Gandhi (1985–1989). He set out to make a mark in politics after an impressive and eventful administrative career which saw him undertake many missions such as being the country's first ever Consul General in Karachi and taking part in diplomatic missions in Brussels, Hanoi and Baghdad. He was a part of the Parliament as a Congress M.P from Mayiladuthurai in 1991, 1999 and 2004. Mani Shanker Aiyar is the chairman of the Congress party's panchayati cell, the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan. A well-known political columnist, Aiyar has written several books, including Pakistan Papers and Remembering Rajiv, and has edited a four-volume publication, Rajiv Gandhi's India.

His fields of interest include nuclear disarmament, grassroots democracy and Indian foreign policy with a special focus on India's neighboring countries and the West Asian region.

1 Program

Cohen, Aiyar & Doval: Securing South Asia

11.15.12 | 00:39:59 min | 0 comments