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Author, Ex-Secretary Min. of External Affairs & Former Deputy Secretary
Former Ambassador of India to UNESCO
Journalist & Editor

Date & Time

Wednesday Wed, 21 Jun 2023


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India
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Few ordinary citizens know much about the office of the President of India as it is the Prime Minister who calls the shots. KC Singh’s The Indian President: An Insider’s Account of the Zail Singh Years is not just about Zail Singh’s tenure as the President of India. Singh waited for 15 years after retirement to write the book and says, “I’m glad I waited as my perspective has evolved. Instead of the book being just about the Zail Singh-Rajiv Gandhi saga, I have expanded it to examine the role and institution of the President.”

A study of the institution of the President of India, this book is based on the author’s term as Deputy Secretary to the seventh president, Giani Zail Singh. In particular, it examines the President’s role when authoritarian governments are voted in power. Things are all the more challenging for a president with a popular prime minister who has an overwhelming majority, as happened in the case of Zail Singh and Rajiv Gandhi. The book recounts how the guardrails painstakingly created by the first two presidents, Rajendra Prasad and S. Radhakrishnan, were partly resurrected by Zail Singh. Richly anecdotal and incisively observed, The Indian President makes a compelling case for why the Zail Singh years are crucial to understanding both the limits and the possibilities of the country’s highest office.

The author, KC Singh, will be in conversation with journalist & editor, Neena Gopal. A Q&A with the audience will follow.


KC Singh

Author, Ex-Secretary Min. of External Affairs & Former Deputy Secretary

Former Ambassador K C Singh joined the Indian diplomatic service (IFS) in 1974 and retired in May 2008 as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. Besides serving in Cairo, New York, and Ankara, he was Deputy Secretary to the President of India (1983-1987) , and JS (XP) and Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (1998-99). He served as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1999-2003) and to Iran (2003-05). K C Singh is now a columnist and strategic affairs analyst for national and international affairs.

Chiranjiv Singh

Former Ambassador of India to UNESCO

Chiranjiv Singh is a former Ambassador of India to UNESCO in Paris. An Indian Administrative Service officer of the 1969 batch, he retired in 2005 as the Development Commissioner of Karnataka and Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Karnataka. After his retirement he has been associated with numerous non-governmental organisations working in the fields of rural development, environment and culture. He was awarded the Rajyotsava Award in 2005 by the Government of Karnataka for his achievements.

Neena Gopal

Journalist & Editor

A journalist for over thirty  years, Neena Gopal began her career in a Bangalore that was the hotbed of post-Emergency politics. Moving to the UAE in the 1980s, she worked for the Dubai-based daily Gulf News where, as foreign editor, she travelled the Middle East during and after Operation Desert Storm, the first Gulf War in 1990, covering war-torn Iraq and its neighbours through the Second Gulf War in 2003. Neena’s news-hunting ground however has been India and its immediate neighbourhood, both as a foreign affairs journalist and as a close observer of the life and times of many leaders in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. She is also the author of the tell all book, The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.