The Center for Soft Power is the fourth center of India Foundation instituted in collaboration with Indic Academy. The Center will give an impetus to the study of soft power, an area of increasing global significance. The Center will engage with practitioners, academics, policy makers and other stakeholders to study, promote and disseminate knowledge, with an emphasis on an India-centric view of soft power. The Center, apart from carrying out research, also proposes to map the various elements of India’s soft power such as Ayurveda, cinema, cuisine, design, handicrafts, sports, literature, music, performing arts, spirituality, tourism, visual arts and yoga.
India’s wide diversity of cultural forms needs study and networking. The Center for Soft Power will be the first center in India with a focus on soft power research, initiatives and leadership. Some of the key activities of the Center are research, establishing a network of cultural entrepreneurs, promoting employment through the soft power economy, collaborating with states to promote religious tourism, and hosting conferences and training programs for various stakeholders. The Center also seeks to collaborate with similar institutions around the world to enable knowledge sharing and promotion of India’s soft power.
Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar is the Director of CSP and the founder secretary of Heritage Parampara a not-for-profit trust. She has flown powered aircraft, played state level softball, danced Bharatanatyam, given talks on Heritage and culture, organized conferences, been on the Central Film and Censor Board, The National Advisory Board for Philately and is a freelance designer and copywriter too. Heritage trust conducts two annual well-known festivals, Gudiya Sambhrama and Srishti Sambhrama, the Earth Mother Festival. A third festival that will premier this year is The Heritage Drive, a 1100 km motor sport rally that will take participants to heritage temples and will include tree planting too. She loves story-telling, her approach is creative and innovative. She is presently writing a novel based on historical events in India.
Hari Kiran Vadlamani is a venture investor and a social entrepreneur based out of Singapore. He is the founder of Indic Academy (IA), an institution that is seeking to build a renaissance based on Indic civilisational thought. Towards this mission, IA gives scholarships and grants, conducts workshops and programs and incubates networks and platforms. Passionate about art & culture,he is an active proponent of India’s soft power and strongly believes that India can emerge as a soft super power by the year 2030. He advocates policy interventions involving Indian diaspora that enable worldwide creation of jobs and establishment of cultural start ups.
Sudarshan Ramabadran is a Senior Research Fellow at India Foundation’s Centre for Soft Power. He has graduated in Commerce from Chennai ( India) and later studied journalism from the Asian College of Journalism in India. He has previously worked with the New Indian Express ( a leading news daily) in Chennai & the Department of Information & Broadcasting, Government of Gujarat, Gandhi Nagar. He has also served as a co-ordinator for All India Chinmaya Yuva Kendra, Global Youth Wing of Chinmaya Mission ( Renowned Spiritual Organisation). His interests are Security, Strategy & International Relations.
Shreya Challagalla is a Research Fellow at India Foundation’s Centre for Soft Power. Her fields of research include India’s soft power and the Indian diaspora. She graduated with a degree in International Studies and Journalism and New Media from FLAME University, Pune. She was previously associated with the Observer Research Foundation where she authored a paper titled, “The Diaspora and India’s Growth Story”. She regularly writes for The Statesman.
Aman Nair is a junior research fellow at India Foundation. He graduated with a degree in Public Policy and International Relations from Sciences Po, Paris. He is interested in North East India, Soft Power and India's Foreign Policy in Asia and Europe.