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Executive Director, Sahapedia
Former Foreign Secretary of India

Date & Time

Thursday Thu, 15 Oct 2020


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

Scholar, dancer and institution builder, Kapila Vatsyayan’s disciplinary range encompassed literature, education and the performing arts; her publications spanned Indian aesthetics, concepts of space and cultural policy. We are indebted to her for helping us develop a vocabulary for interpreting Indian culture, to see the relations between margi and desi traditions, and the resonances between culture and science. Having served as Secretary, Department of Arts, Ministry of HRD, and as Rajya Sabha member, among the institutions she helped establish were the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, institutes of Tibetology in Sarnath and Leh, and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Such is her legacy, that she will always be present in our intellectual and imaginative encounter with the arts, and in our visions for organizational endeavour.

Sudha Gopalakrishnan and Shyam Saran on the life and contributions of Kapila Vatsyayan.

In collaboration Sahapedia– An online interactive encyclopedia on the arts, cultures and histories of India (and broadly South Asia)


Sudha Gopalakrishnan

Executive Director, Sahapedia

Sudha is one of the founders of Sahapedia, as well as Vice President of Sahapedia’s governing body. She has over thirty years of  experience in areas relating to policy, management, documentation and research pertaining to multiple aspects of Indian arts and heritage.  She received her PhD in Comparative Drama and Masters degree in English Language and Literature. She has prepared three successful  nomination dossiers for the recognition of three heritage expressions—Kutiyattam, Vedic Chanting and Ramlila—as UNESCO  Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’. Sudha was Mission Director, National Mission for Manuscripts, from  2003-2007. She has published 8 books (including original writing, translation and edited volumes) and contributed papers in national and  international publications.

Shyam Saran

Former Foreign Secretary of India

Shyam Saran is a former Foreign Secretary of India and has served as Chairman of India’s National Security Advisory Board. In 2015 he was the Telstra Distinguished International Fellow at the Lowy Institute.

Saran is a career diplomat, having joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1970. He has served in several capitals of the world, including Beijing, Tokyo, and Geneva. He has been India’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Indonesia, and Nepal, and High Commissioner to Mauritius. In the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, he headed the Economic Division and the Multilateral Economic Division and also headed the East Asia Division which handles relations with China and Japan. As a Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office in 1991/92, he advised the Prime Minister on foreign policy, nuclear and defence–related issues.

After a career spanning 34 years in the Indian Foreign Service, he was appointed India’s Foreign Secretary in 2004 and held that position until his retirement from service in September 2006. Subsequent to his retirement, Saran was appointed Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo–US civil nuclear issues and later as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change. During his last two assignments, Ambassador Saran served as the Prime Minister’s personal representative, or “Sherpa”, at the Gleneagles and St Petersburg G8+G5 summits, and was present at the Toyako and L’Aquila Summits as an advisor on Climate Change issues. He also attended the Pittsburg G20 summit as a member of the Indian delegation.

In 2011 Saran was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India for his contribution to Civil Service. The Padma Bhushan is the third highest national award in the country. He holds a postgraduate degree in Economics. He speaks Hindi, English, and Chinese, and is conversant in French.