The Capital Foundation Society is a registered, non- governmental, non profit, voluntary organisation which brings together men of thought and learning to deliberate and articulate public opinion on vital issues. It promotes free flow of information and ideas from diverse sources to influence decision making.The Capital Foundation Society, since its inception in 1987 has been engaged in providing a platform for policy dialogue and debate on issues of national and international importance. Over 250 events have been organised by the Foundation. Participants have acclaimed the quality of debate and dialogue in each one of them.
One of the strengths of India’s democratic system is the considerable space it allows for open and vigorous debate on issues of public policy. Often though such debates tend to obtain harsh political overtones, transcending the bonds of objectivity and intellectual distance. A notable exception to this trend is the series of seminars and discussions organised by the Capital Foundation Society.
Participants representing different shades and interests express their views freely. Parliamentarians, civil – servants, judges, diplomats, journalists, scholars and professionals come together and exchange ideas. This is something, that makes Capital Foundation different from all other public forums. This gives an opportunity to participants to appreciate an issue from different points of view and understand implications of policy from divergent angels. The cross fertilization of ideas and the extent of consensus that can emerge by appreciating different aspects of contentious issues have been a source of satisfaction to the Capital Foundation.
Workshops, Conferences, Seminars & Discussions
Union Budget & the Capital Market
Since March 1987, discussion on Union Budget has been a regular feature of the society. For almost fifteen years this function was in collaboration with the Delhi Stock Exchange. The participants representing stock markets, policy makers, corporate entities, tax experts and merchant bankers, finance Ministers and other ministers discuss the union budget thread bare and highlight its impact on economy in general and Stock Markets in particular.Housing For the Poor:
National Housing Policy, Housing for the Poor, Low Cost Housing, Problems of the Slum dwellers were some of the issues discussed by experts. Union Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mr Murasoli Maran, Mr S.K. Sharma CMD of HUDCO, Mr P.K.Hota Vice Chairman, Bhubneshwar Development Authority, Mr Manjeet Singh Commissioner Slums, D.D.A., Mr Sushil Ansal CMD Ansal Housing Ltd, Mr P.K. Bahri Director, Unitech, Mr Raj Rewal Architect threw light on different aspects. Mr Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer addressed meetings on Construction Workers etc.
Indo Afghan Relations Meetings were addressed by the President of Afghanistan Dr Najibullah, Mr Abdul Halim Hatiff the Vice President of Afghanistan and Chairman of National Reconciliation Commission, Mr I.K. Gujral, Mr Hari Kishore Singh, Mr Natwar Singh, Mr R.L. Bhatia all Ministers of External Affairs, Mr Anand Sharma, Mr Sitaram Yechury, Mr D. Raja, and several experts from India and Afghanistan.India & Srilanka Several Meetings were organized to discuss Indo Sri Lankan Relations particularly when there was the problem of LTTE and IPKF. Mr G. L. Dogra, M.P. Mr A.P. Venkateshwaran the then Foreign Secretary, Justice Krishna Iyer, Mr K.P. Unikrishnan Minister, M.P.s representing different parties participated.India & Pakistan Elections in Pakistan, Indo Pak Relations, Role of Media in Pakistan and India, State of Human Rights We received delegation from Pakistan Institute of Legislative Developments, Accountability and Transparency. We also had senior Journalist from Pakistan and Bangladesh to participate in our Seminars.India & Philippines Working of Democratic Institutions in Philippines and India was also a subject matter of discussions in which experts from India and Philippines participated and Mr David Arnold of Ford Foundation presided in one of our meetings.
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Institutions
Empowerment of masses to strengthen the democratic institutions was at the heart of all governments. We organized meetings with leaders from all States and the Union Ministers along with the leaders of different political parties to suggest measures to empower people and strengthen democratic institutions at grass root levels through Panchyayati Raj Institutions.
Several conferences were organized to highlight the developments in SAARC countries. Sending of Election Observers and their impressions about free and fair elections had been the subject matter of some of our discussions. Representatives from SAARC countries participate in the discussions.
Role of Media, Curbs, Foreign Direct Investments, Role of Press Council, Sting Journalism Several Legislations having their impact on Human Rights of people have been deliberated by experts at the Capital Foundation meetings. Judges, diplomats, parliamentarians, intellectuals have discussed these issues and made strong impact on the government and policy makers.Democratic Governance Article 356, Supreme Court on Hindutva, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Social Evils Dalits, Sati, Uniform Civil Code, Reservations in Educational Institutions have all received adequate attention in our meetings.Terrorism & Internal Security: The first meeting on Terrorist attacks in U.S. during September 11 was organized by the Capital Foundation Society at Constitution Club. Mr K.P.S. Gill, Mr Kapil Sibal, Air Chief Marshal S. K. Sareen, Prof Devinder Kausik President of the Fulbright Foundation in India and several experts participated. Meetings on Internal Security and Cross boarder Terrorism were addressed by several army Generals and experts from defence services, intelligence agencies and representatives of political parties.Electoral Reforms Issues of delimitation and rotation of constituencies were also debated at our forum and in pursuant of that Delimitation Commission was set up under Justice Kuldip Singh who is not only our active member but also on our Board of Governors. 2009 Elections were conducted on the basis of newly defined constituencies.
Agenda Before the Government is another area where CFS has organized discussions after the elections.