1. India's Ever-Evolving Position in the World
    Speakers: Manjeet Kripalani, Jennifer Larson

    India's position in the global community has undergone drastic transformation over the past few decades. Having established itself initially as a socialist nation that was relatively closed-off, India has now entered a wide range of trade pacts and enjoys strategic partnerships with nations across the globe. How has India's approach to international relations and diplomacy changed since its birth, and how will it change going forward? How has diplomacy at large evolved? Specifically with regards to US-India relations, what are the challenges facing that relationship, and what particularly distinguishes that partnership from others? And finally, how can India better position itself in the global community through diplomacy?

  2. Self-Sabotage: India's Environmental Crisis
    Speakers: Vineeta Hariharan, Paresh Parasnis, Siddharth Sharma, Sanjeev Bagaria

    India is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. It has one of the highest densities of economic activity in the world, and very large numbers of poor people who rely on the natural resource base for their livelihoods, with a high dependence on rainfall. According to a World Bank estimate, by 2020, pressure on India's water, air, soil, and forests is expected to become the highest in the world. Greenhouse gas emissions by India are the third largest in the world. India generates nearly 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day, making it the 15th largest polluter of plastics globally - and this is quite evident from a quick glance at the litter that blankets the streets of Mumbai. If current trends continue, major cities, such as Mumbai and Chennai, are projected to be submerged, and India's GDP could decline significantly as production falls. How does India balance strong economic growth with a commitment to promote sustainability by reducing waste and carbon emissions? How are stakeholders incorporating sustainability into their overall missions? Are current efforts by the government and private sector adequate?

  3. Women in India: A Long Fight Ahead
    Speakers: Supriya Sule, Amisha Vora, Grace Banu

    Countless reports find that India is among the top five worst nations for gender equality, evident in the gruesomely high rates of domestic violence, acid attacks, female infanticide, female genital mutilation, and economic discrimination against women. Given India\'s dismal lack of gender equity, women in male-dominated fields overcome significantly higher hurdles to rise to the top. This panel features women who have triumphed against a system that seems to be geared against them. Hear about the setbacks these panelists have experienced and overcome as women, how they foresee the national landscape for women in the workforce to change, and how they are paving the way for the next generation of women.


  1. India Through Rainbow - Tinted Glasses
    Speakers: Supriya Sule, Grace Banu, Aqsa Shaikh

    On September 6, 2018, a landmark ruling repealed Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which had made homosexuality a crime carrying a life sentence. While this was a monumental advancement for the LGBTQ+ community in India, there is undoubtedly a great deal of progress left to be made, both at the political and societal level; for example, at the 2019 UN Human Rights Council, India abstained from voting on a resolution to renew a mandate on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This panel seeks to explore where India stands in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, given that decriminalization of gay sex is certainly a milestone, but still only a launch pad. What setbacks does the LGBTQ+ movement face in a notoriously socially conservative country, and how we will be able to overcome these setbacks?

  2. Media and Politics
    Speakers: Siddharth Varadarajan

    As electoral politics becomes increasingly partisan and volatile, the role of media in shaping opinions and disseminating information has come under the scanner across the globe. In this panel, we will discuss the role of media in the Indian social and political context. We will debate the meaning of objective journalism, and whether objective journalism is either realistic or desirable; the increasing influence of corporations and money power in journalism; and the importance of preserving media freedom in light of India's falling position on the Press Freedom Index.

  3. Life Imitates Art; Art Imitates Life
    Speakers: Vivek Desai, Kaizaad Kotwal, Vikram Bawa, Avanti Nagra, Leeza Mangaldas, Karan Singh

    The arts hold a dear place in the heart of India. It is no secret that Indian culture loves the arts - and the arts, as this panel epitomizes, is quite the broad term. From photography to singing to filmography to mentalism, the arts encompass a wide range - but a common thread uniting these arts is that they have become the passion of countless Indians. What challenges do artists in India face presently, and how have these artists managed to make it? How can the arts be utilized to make a difference in society, apart from simply serving as entertainment?

  4. Fireside Chat: Rohit Pawar
    Speaker: Rohit Pawar

    Join us for a conversation with Rohit Pawar, a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, about his experience navigating the political machine as a young legislator.

  5. Fireside Chat: Milind Deora
    Speaker: Milind Deora

    Join us for a conversation with Milind Deora, former Member of Parliament, about the value of youth civic engagement and education.


  1. Fireside Chat: Raj Nayak
    Speaker: Raj Nayak

    Join us for a conversation with Raj Nayak, former COO of Viacom 18 and founder of media company House of Cheer, about the rapid evolution of the entertainment industry.

  2. Disinformation and "Fake News"
    Speakers: Berges Malu, Rajneil Kamath, Gilles Verniers

    The dissemination of \"fake news\" has purportedly exacerbated political polarization and influenced elections across the globe, thus adversely impacting democracy. As people have grown unwilling to trust the mainstream media and embrace more politically polarized sources, they adhere to alternative sets of facts or simply do not know what to believe. And as Bill Bishop argues, \"fake news\" creates communities that act as feedback loops where we are \"hearing our own thoughts about what is right and wrong bounced back to us by the television shows we watch, the newspapers and books we read ... and the neighborhoods we live in.\" What has catalyzed the spread of \"fake news,\" and moving forward, how can we counter this mounting threat? What are the ramifications of \"fake news\" for our society?

  3. Raising a Tiger: India's Booming Startup Scene
    Speakers: Vandita Purohit, Raghav Sarin, Manohar Katoch, Manas Fuloria

    Of course, it is no secret that India is at the forefront of technological advancement, and the IT industry has become integral to India's economy. Tech giants across the globe rely heavily on India to fulfill their needs; Indian tech companies are beginning to cause ripples globally. Hear these panelists share their thoughts on the IT industry - how it has changed, how it will change moving forward, and what India must do to not only maintain its technological prowess but further emerge as a technology leader.

  4. Fireside Chat: Shaheen Mistri
    Speaker: Shaheen Mistri

    Shaheen Mistri (born 16 March 1971) is an Indian social activist and educator. She is the founder of Akanksha Foundation, an Indian non-profit educational initiative in Mumbai and Pune, and is also the CEO of Teach For India since 2008.


  1. Keeping Up with the Times: New-Age Media
    Speakers: Anirudh Pandita, Vivek Krishnani, Samir Bangara, Nirmika Singh, Malini Agarwal

    Media and entertainment are not what they used to be. With the boom of social media and digital marketing, the nature of how we consume content has undergone a rapid and radical transformation in the last decade. Hear from media moguls about their work in the new-age media and entertainment industry, how they manage to adapt to ever-changing trends, and how they expect these industries to evolve and grow in the future.

  2. Nonprofits: Agents of Development
    Speakers: Shaheen Mistri, Shobhit Mathur, Animesh Katiyar

    This panel examines the role of nonprofits in contributing to both social and economic progress. As nonprofits grapple with systemic challenges associated with lack of funding, bureaucratic hurdles, governmental interference, and internal transparency, how can nonprofits overcome these challenges and drive change? It is also important to discuss the role of Indian youth in sustaining nonprofits. In an increasingly capitalistic society, how can Indian youth be incentivised to join and work with nonprofits and devote themselves to service? We will also hear from panelists on what they believe the impact of nonprofits will be on India's development in the coming decade, and how India can more effectively support nonprofits and empower them to pursue their missions.

  3. Fireside Chat: Vrinda Grover
    Speakers: Vrinda Grover

    Renowned lawyer and human activist, passionate about women in relation to criminal justice system and the rights of undocumented workers in India.


  1. To Seek Profit or the Truth? Journalism in India
    Speakers: Sreenivasan Jain, Marya Shakil

    What constitutes quality journalism? The definition of journalism, by virtue of the wide variety of forms that journalism may embody, is rather ambiguous - while some journalism strives to be investigative in nature and uncover the truth, other journalism more so strives to be sensational and catch eyes. What future is in store for journalism in India? How can media companies strike a balance between seeking to maximize readership in order to achieve profit and genuinely fulfilling their mission?

  2. Knock Knock. Who is There? India's Vibrant Comedy Scene
    Speakers: Sorabh Pant, Rishabh Nahar, Samay Raina, Tanmay Bhat, Sumukhi Suresh

    The Indian comedy scene has burst to life in the past decade. Aided by platforms like YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix, comedy is finally finding reach beyond metros to far-off cities and cultivating devoted audiences. What does the next decade hold? In a country where people are still getting acquainted with stand-up, how do comedians deal with people finding their humor offensive? Going forward, what challenges do comedians - and the comedy industry at large - face as they seek to utilize comedy to catalyze meaningful change?

  3. Battling Economic Inequality and Inertia
    Speakers: Parth Shah, Chirantan Chatterjee, Jayati Ghosh

    India has emerged as an economic powerhouse, yet the gains from the rapid economic growth are by no means distributed evenly. The wealth gap in India is only widening - whereas the rich flaunt lavish mansions and sleek sports cars, the poor regard basic healthcare, primary education, even clean water as unaffordable luxuries. How can India maintain its economic drive while also lifting up its poor and ensure that it is not just the rich getting richer? Why has economic growth experienced a slowdown as of recent, and what must India do to regain economic momentum? And what, if anything, is special about the Indian economy?

  4. Bollywood: Cinema as a Vehicle for Change
    Speakers: Juhi Chawla, Anupama Chopra, Jackie Shroff, Sriram Raghavan

    Bollywood is, simply put, iconic to Indian culture. Film stars are revered throughout the country; their faces grace billboards and television ads not only in India but around the world. It is no surprise, then, that Bollywood stars strive to utilize their fandom and popularity to catalyze change. Many Bollywood stars have launched their own humanitarian campaigns, seeking to leverage their starpower to make a difference in the broader community. Bollywood stars are increasingly entering the political fray, endorsing candidates standing in hotly contested elections and even competing in elections themselves after their Bollywood careers fizzle out. How can Bollywood actors truly make an impact? How valid are criticisms that Bollywood is becoming too politicized, and how can Bollywood stars voice their political convictions without being criticized for disseminating propaganda? How has Bollywood's social outreach evolved as of recent, and how will it evolve moving forward?