The Foundation has endowed an annual New India Lecture, delivered by a distinguished scholar or writer. Held every year in a different city, the lecture is held in partnership with a reputed public institution in that city.
The first New India lecture was delivered by the economist Jean Dreze at the India International Centre in New Delhi in December 2004. Dr Dreze spoke on ‘The Right to Food’.
The second New India lecture was delivered in January 2006 by the historian and political theorist Sunil Khilnani. He spoke on the theme of ‘India as a Bridging Power’ at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore.
The third New India lecture was delivered in March 2007 by the political scientist Yogendra Yadav. He spoke on ‘The Paradoxes of Indian Democracy’ at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai.
The fourth New India lecture was delivered in January 2008 at the India International Centre in New Delhi. The speaker, the Gandhian social activist Ela Bhatt, spoke on the fascinating journey of the organization she founded, SEWA.
The fifth New India lecture was held in Kolkata in March 2009, in association with The Telegraph. The distinguished sociologist Professor André Béteille spoke on the topic, ‘Towards an Inclusive Society’.
The sixth New India lecture was delivered in Bangalore in August 2010 by Professor Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago. He spoke on faultlines in the global economy.
The seventh New India lecture was delivered in Bangalore in August 2011 by Professor Rahul Mehrotra of Harvard University. He spoke on recent trends in Indian architecture.
The eight New India lecture was delivered in Bangalore in July 2013 by Professor Lant Pritchett of Harvard University. He spoke on ‘India as a Flailing State’.
The ninth New India lecture was delivered by Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta in Bangalore in February 2015. He spoke on ‘The Construction of “Religion” in Modern Indian Intellectual History’.
The tenth New India lecture was delivered by Dr Arvind Subramanian in Bangalore in April 2016. He spoke on ‘What Economists Can Learn from Literature’.
The Eleventh New India lecture was delivered by Prof Esther Duflo in Bangalore in October 2017. She spoke on Every Child Counts : How to Fix Primary Education in India.