Established in 2006, the Public Diplomacy Division of India’s Ministry of External Affairs strives to foster a greater understanding of India and its foreign policy concerns. Its mandate enables it to organise and support a broad range of outreach activities, both in India and overseas.
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Since Public Diplomacy is a relatively new and rapidly evolving discipline, it is important to clarify what we are all about. Public diplomacy is regarded as the framework of activities by which a government seeks to influence public attitudes in a manner that they become supportive of its foreign policy and national interests. It differs from traditional diplomacy in that public diplomacy goes beyond governments and interfaces primarily with non-governmental individuals and organizations. Furthermore, public diplomacy activities often present many differing views as represented by private individuals and organizations in addition to official Government views and positions. A key facet of Public diplomacy is that it goes beyond unidirectional communication; it is also about listening to a range of actors. Successful public diplomacy involves an active engagement with the public in a manner that builds, over a period of time, a relationship of trust and credibility. It requires systems that acknowledge the importance of an increasingly interconnected world where citizens expect responsiveness to their concerns on foreign policy (and other issues).
The Public Diplomacy Division seeks to create a better understanding of India and its foreign policy concerns. We intend to put in place a system that enables us to engage more effectively with our citizens in India and with global audiences that have an interest in foreign policy issues.
India is blessed with an ancient civilisation, a rich cultural heritage, an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and a dynamic economy that operate within the framework of a secular ethos and a vibrant democracy. At the Public Diplomacy Division, we produce publications, documentary films and other material that enables us to showcase these and other facets of our diverse nation. We also publish the India Perspective magazine in 17 languages and distribute it in 160 countries around the globe through our diplomatic missions. We partner with major domestic and international universities, think tanks and research organizations to organize seminars and conferences on subjects that are relevant to India’s concerns, host delegations from various countries and organizations to provide them with a broad-based exposure to India and organize lectures and other events within India with the objective of fostering a more informed discourse on India’s foreign policy. We also service India’s missions and posts around the world to enable them to project India more effectively. A key area of our focus will be to develop effective Web 2.0 strategies and utilize a full range of social media tools that enable us to engage with diverse communities in India and overseas that have an interest in foreign policy issues.
1.The Public Diplomacy Division commissions and also purchases books for presentation by our Heads of Mission to local dignitaries in the country of their accreditation. It also supplies other books on India that can be retained in the library of the mission or provided to appropriate individuals locally. In addition, the Division procures and supplies a range of specialized journals to our diplomatic missions. The Division also extends financial support to deserving cases of translation of Indian classics into foreign languages.
2. All major decisions with regard to commissioning and purchase of books and subscription of journals and periodicals are taken by a Books Committee that is usually headed by an officer of the rank of Secretary to the Govt. of India and includes representatives of Finance Division, External Publicity Division and others.
3. PMS Section of the Public Diplomacy division handles all work related to printed material. Any enquiries can be addressed to
(i) Shri P. Subhash Nair, PO (PMS) Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Sh. Dilip Kumar Chawala , PO(IP)Email: email@example.com
(iii) Cdr. Anand Khandelwal, OSD(PD) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Music and cinema constitute important elements of India’s soft power. The Public Diplomacy Division commissions customized sets of popular and classical music that are sent to our diplomatic missions for presentation to local dignitaries. Selections such as Bollywood Music, Music as Therapy and Classical Music have been extremely well received.
5. The Division has also obtained non-commercial screening rights for a limited number of popular Hindi feature films with subtitles in major international languages. These are made available to our diplomatic missions to organize film festivals locally.
6. In addition, the Division commissions a range of documentary films that enable our diplomatic missions to showcase different facets of India. Most documentaries focus on India’s rich cultural and civilizational values, its democratic and pluralistic society, its secular values, its vibrant economy, the innovativeness and enterprise of its people, etc. The Pathbreakers series of documentaries also brings out the singular contribution made by various individuals in their own fields of work or in improving socio-economic conditions.
7.Proposals for documentary films are accepted from independent filmmakers/ production houses on an ongoing basis. The commissioning process involves an initial screening to shortlist proposals that are appropriate and relevant from the perspective of Ministry of External Affairs. Filmmakers whose proposals are shortlisted are thereafter invited to make presentations to a high level Films Committee that is headed by an officer of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India and includes representatives of the Finance, External Publicity and other Divisions. Proposals approved by the Films Committee are formally commissioned and a contract is signed with the filmmaker stipulating payment terms, timeline and other parameters. The following forms can be accessed here:
8.From 2011-12, Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) has also been contracted to produce films for the MEA for a period of 5 years. Submissions are to be made directly to PSBT. Details may be accessed at www.psbt.org.
9.List of Hindi Feature films with rights to screen in DVD format at various film festivals etc. by our Missions abroad
Feature Film Catalogue of the Public Diplomacy Division, MEA
10. India Perspectives is the flagship publication of the Ministry of External Affairs and is printed in 17 languages and supplied by our diplomatic missions to local dignitaries and friends of India in over 150 countries on a complimentary basis. The magazine seeks to project India’s rich cultural heritage, its composite pluralistic society as well as its vibrant economy. An online edition can be accessed through this website. Feature articles and key aspects of education, innovation, technology and foreign policy are also carried in the magazine. JS (PD) functions as the editor of the publication and, with effect from March 2011, the work related to the production of magazine has been contracted to M/s Media Transasia.
11 Queries pertaining to India Perspectives can be directed to Sh. Dilip Kumar Chawala, PO (IP) Email:email@example.com
12. Social Media using the tools of Web2.0 is extremely important for a two way communication with the public in general; enabling the government to “listen” and understand the pulse of the nation. 70% of the Indian population is less than 35 years of age, and thus the internet serves as an effective and economical tool to engage the youth.
13. The Public Diplomacy Division as an initiative in digital diplomacy started with a account on twitter and was soon followed by facebook and youtube. The India Perspectives magazine is also being published online using tools such as scribd & Issuu. After a year of its commencement the twitter page of Indian diplomacy has more than 26000 followers and facebook page has more than 44500 followers.
14. The social media initiatives of the Public Diplomacy Division have served as a catalyst for many of our missions and posts abroad to start their own facebook pages.
15. Queries pertaining to Digital Diplomacy can be directed to Mr. Ashish Arya , Under Secretary, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our outreach activities include our popular Lecture Series on India’s Foreign Policy under which we organise lectures on contemporary foreign policy themes at major universities and academic institutions. We also partner with a range of think tanks, universities and other institutions to organise or support seminars and conferences on themes related to foreign policy. These include dialogue programmes with institutions in the UK, South Korea and Indonesia. Our outreach activities also include hosting incoming visitors from various countries.
As a part of its outreach activities the Public Diplomacy Division is supporting the India Future of Change initiative. It (IFC) is a five-year initiative that promises to take India to the world, and get students and professionals across geographies to compete, collaborate and co-create a better future for all of us. The division is actively involved in organising various contests that creates a synergy between the various actors involved and results in augmenting the interest in India but also its brand image around the world.
Mrs. Riva Ganguly Das joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986. She has done postings in Spain, Bangladesh and the Netherlands. She was in Headquarters from 1989 to 1998 and later from 2001 to 2004. She has served as US ( XP ) &(Nepal), DS (PV) and Director (UNES). She has also worked as Passport Officer, Jaipur. She served as the Consul General of India, Shanghai during 2008-2012.
Ms L.Savithri, director has served in various capacities in Indian missions in Male, Kathmandu and Seoul, besides a stint in the Indian Consulate in Chicago. In MEA headquarters, she has worked on territorial desks dealing with Nepal, Bhutan, Central Asian Republics and the United States. She also holds a diploma in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Oxford, UK. She has joined the Public Diplomacy Division on 1 August 2011 and looks after outreach activities and administration of the Division
Wing Commander Nikhilesh N Dixit OSD(PD)-II has been deputed to the Division from the Indian Air Force. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1996 and has since then held various appointments at Operational and functional units as well as at Air HQ. He is also an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He presently looks after PMS, India Perspective, India Africa and India ASEAN in the Division.
He belongs to the IFS 2008 batch. He speaks Hindi, English and Russian.He currently looks after the digital diplomacy initiative of the PD Division and publication of India Perspectives.
Public diplomacy is all about initiating and sustaining people-to-people dialogues through which an enabling atmosphere is created that fosters greater cooperation between the two nations. Hence, we started our creative process with the quotation marks, which is representative of dialogues.
We added the letters ‘p’ and ‘d’ from the English alphabets to make the creative more relevant to the theme of the conference. To simplify the cluster, we created a font in which the letters ‘p’ and ‘d’ would also form the quotation marks.
However, we needed to decrease the distance between the two alphabets in order to create an ‘overlay-area’ representative of the shared mind-space continuum in the process of a dialogue.
The colours chosen are representative of this activity too. From a very warm blue tone for the two alphabets forming the negative area to an equally warm, but more activity-loaded orange in the foreground. We have chosen this warm orange to represent the dynamism of emerging possibilities and ideas that arise out of a dialogue.