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Book Discussion On Braving a Viral Storm: India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Story by Aashish Chandorkar & Suraj Sudhir


Book Discussion on ‘Partitioned Freedom’ by Dr. Ram Madhav


On 17 December 2022, Dr. Ram Madhav, member of the National Executive RSS, author and columnist, participated in a discussion at the PIC on his book, ‘Partitioned Freedom’. Amb. Gautam Bambawale, trustee, PIC and the former High Commissioner to Pakistan and ex- Ambassador to China and Bhutan chaired the session.
Dr. Ram Madhav explained that while numerous books have been written on the tragic partition of India, he has undertaken a detailed examination of the factors that led to the partition of India on religious lines.
He explained the  first partition of India  in 1905 wherein the British Raj divided the Bengal Province into East and West Bengal was a failed attempt and had to be annulled in 2011. The entire nation and people from all communities rose against this partition. However, the next four decades saw the Divide and Rule politics of the British and a systematic mistrust and breakdown in the relations between the once secular and nationalist leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and the Congress. This was despite the best efforts of Mahatma Gandhi and finally, all the leaders saw partition as the only solution to end the horrific violence of the mid to late 1940s.
Dr Madhav stressed that India must learn from the lessons of history.
The session witnessed a lively round of Q&A.


Online Conversation on Lessons from Sri Lanka’s Debt and Economic Crisis


On 5th December, Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Senior Research Associate, ODI Global was the guest speaker for an online conversation with Prof. Abhay Pethe, Senior Fellow, PIC and Senior Research Fellow, Mumbai School of Economics on the topic, ‘Lessons from Sri Lanka’s Debt and Economic Crisis. The event was moderated by Ms. Shilpa Phadke, member, PIC.

Dr. Ganeshan gave a detailed presentation on the Sri Lankan debt and economic crisis explaining the causes of this major economic crisis. The discussion addressed a number of issues such as the gravity of the debt crisis, rise of unemployment, GDP contraction, the linear rise in inflation, missed bond payments and the geopolitical flux caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, China’s interests in Sri Lanka and India-Sri Lanka relations

The dominance and subsequent ouster of the dynastic politics of the Mahinda Rajpaksha family; the appointment of Ranil Wickremasinghe as the 6th PM of Sri Lanka and the initiatives and strategies to deal with the debt and economic crisis were discussed at length.
The session saw a lively Q&A from the audience.
This lecture was open only to PIC members and was not recorded at the request of the speaker.

‘Dileep Padgaonkar Memorial Lecture’: Covering Conflict – Notes from Afghanistan and Ukraine


On December 01, Ms Yogita Limaye, South Asia Correspondent of the BBC, delivered PIC’s 6th Dileep Padgaonkar Memorial Lecture in association with Symbiosis International (Deemed) University on the topic, ‘Covering Conflicts: Notes from Afghanistan and Ukraine’.
The lecture was chaired by Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, President, PIC, and Dr. S. B Mujumdar, Chancellor, SIU, presided over the function. Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, Pro-Vice Chancellor, SIU, Dr. Rajni Gupte, Vice-Chancellor, SIU, and Ms. Latika Padgaonkar were present at the event.
All the speakers paid rich tributes to Dr Padgaonkar, an eminent journalist, who was one of the architects of the PIC and headed its programmes committee.
Ms Limaye captivated the audience with her graphic presentation of the sufferings of the people in Ukraine as a result of the war with Russia. She presented video clips of her ground reporting from Ukraine and Afghanistan as she explained the challenge of covering the war as a journalist. The lecture was inspiring for all and all, especially students of journalism who were in attendance. Ms Limaye spoke on the significance of journalism and the importance of fair reporting and credibility in the pandemic of fake news that has engulfed modern society.
The session was enriched with a lively round of Q & A.