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The Carter Center Announces New Initiative on Democracy in India

ATLANTA — The Carter Center is establishing I-Policy (India Policy), an initiative to educate U.S. policymakers on issues related to democracy and human rights in India.

I-Policy will host dialogues and publish original policy research to keep stakeholders informed of key developments in Indian democracy, including those that impact U.S.-India relations. With a programmatic presence in Washington, D.C., I-Policy aims to be an important resource for American policymakers to ensure that India’s democracy remains robust, especially given rising challenges in the country.

“At a time where global cooperation is more necessary than ever, upholding the democratic values at the root of U.S.-India ties is vital,” said the Carter Center’s CEO, Paige Alexander. “Experts have pointed out that because India is the world’s largest democracy, backsliding there has repercussions for countries everywhere, especially the U.S. I-Policy, therefore, will bring these issues to the attention of American policymakers through informed and measured research.”

In recent years, India has seen a significant decline in global indices that measure the strength of democratic norms and practices. Areas of concern include freedom of the press, judicial independence, and protection of minorities. Economic stagnation has compounded these problems, and U.S. companies — including technology firms — have reported difficulties navigating India’s sensitive landscape. Failure to address such challenges in a timely and effective manner poses risks to economic prosperity, geopolitical stability, and the U.S.-India strategic partnership. I-Policy will provide American policymakers with necessary research and analysis on Indian democracy and human rights, with a view to strengthening bilateral ties and managing potential pitfalls.

Tanmay Misra has been appointed as I-Policy’s strategy officer and will be based in Washington, D.C. He brings to the role a decade of experience in the United Nations and with the Indian diaspora in the U.S. and UK. He is a graduate of Brown University (B.A.), the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (M.A.), and the London School of Economics and Political Science (Ph.D.). Shelby House will be I-Policy’s researcher-editor. Fluent in Hindi and Urdu, she has a background in research and communications and is a graduate of the University of Washington (M.A.) in South Asian studies and Vanderbilt University (B.A.) in political science and South Asia studies.

I-Policy will be supported by an advisory board whose members include Saman Zia-Zarifi (secretary general of the International Commission of Jurists), James Traub (columnist at Foreign Policy and senior fellow at New York University's Center on International Cooperation), and Vinod Jose (executive editor at The Caravan Magazine).

This spring, I-Policy expects to launch its official website, which will showcase research and analysis of developments in Indian democracy from a diverse array of leading observers in both the U.S. and India.

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Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, soyia.ellison@cartercenter.org

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.