Bringing American Expertise and Excellence to India – U.S. Speaker Program

Since Fall 2013, Meridian International Center has had the pleasure of working with the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi implementing the U.S. Speaker Program for India. Sponsored by the Public Affairs Section, the program is designed to connect U.S. experts with Indian audiences and institutions; to promote an understanding of U.S. strategic priorities, policies and institutions; and to discuss the political, economic, social, and cultural context from which they arise. Continue  

Lady Liberty and Mother India

This is the first blog in a series highlighting Meridian’s programs with India, both domestic and abroad. Each month a different department will select and share a project that represents our work with the world’s largest democracy. The series culminates in June with Meridian’s third annual cultural diplomacy forum, this year focusing on India.

Indian Women by Joshua Song

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a global call to action for all to support women’s rights and gender equality. We use this day to remind us of the great amount of work still yet the be accomplished in respect to these issues, including wage parity, political representation, trafficking, and abuse. A complex case study, India is a nation with its fair share of triumphs and difficulties in respect to women’s rights. Women have held the posts of president and prime minister in India, yet the country remains lowly ranked in the Global Gender Gap Report.

Continue  

Demonetization Ushers in New Era of Digital Finance in India

This article is reposted from the Center for Global Development (CGD) (February 23, 2017), which was originally written by Dr. Michael Pisa, Ms. Divyanshi Wadhwa, and Dr. Anit Mukherjee. Pisa is a Policy Fellow researching how technological innovation can support financial inclusion and how the withdrawal of correspondent bank relationships may affect remittance flows. Wadhwa works as a Research Assistant focusing on the unintended consequences of anti-money laundering laws on development. Mukherjee is a Policy Fellow that is currently researching the impact of fiscal devolution on sub-national health financing reform In developing nations including India. Continue  

Combatting Human Trafficking Through The Arts

This blog was written by Joel Bergner, who recently went to India as part of Meridian’s Community Engagement through the Arts program:

Looking at a map of India’s eastern state West Bengal, one will notice that it has an unusual shape. At the top, a tiny sliver of land shoots hundreds of kilometers north, like a little tree growing out of rest of the state, which includes the capital city of Kolkata and the iconic Ganges River. This sliver pushes up into the Himalayas, and borders on Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, not far from Chinese-controlled Tibet. It is a fascinating place, with incredible mountainous views, the world-famous Darjeeling tea fields and Buddhist and Hindu temples spotting the landscape. However, it was none of these things that brought me here, to the small city of Siliguri. Upon arrival, I met with my team of local artists and Nishi Kant, director of the Indian NGO Shakti Vahini, who educated us on the situation here.

Continue  

Art for Gender Equality in Mumbai, India

Every March 8th is International Women’s Day, a celebration of women around the world that takes place during Women’s History Month. While Meridian organizes exchanges for women leaders in various fields, for the past two years the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy has used the arts – specifically the mural arts –  to directly address issues such as human trafficking, gender-based violence, empowerment, equality, and education that affect women and girls around the world. Continue