On Tuesday, November 8, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received an unusual delegation comprising senior members of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a renowned American think-tank. Led by its chairman, Richard Giordano, and accompanied by Sunil Bharti Mittal, CEO of the Bharti Group and a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment, the visitors from Washington expressed their wish to house their organisation’s South Asian operation in Delhi.
You could say the Carnegie’s interest in India is understandable, boasting as it does a few centres around the world. But what ought to surprise you is that a slew of top American think-tanks—the Brookings Institution, the Rand Corporation, the Centre for International and Strategic Studies, the Heritage Foundation and many others—has been regularly sending delegations to India over the past few years. Their mission: probe the possibilities of initiating operations in India or deepening ties with Indian think-tanks for a better understanding of developments in India and the region. Their motivation: to influence, even shape, policies for strengthening Indo-US relations.