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Vijay Kelkar elected Chairman of Forum of Federations

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Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission has been unanimously elected as Chairman of the Forum of Federations, an international organization headquartered in Ottawa which seeks to strengthen democratic governance by promoting dialogue on the practices, principles, and possibilities of federalism through partner governments.

The Forum builds international networks and fosters the exchange of experience on federal governance with a strong focus on fiscal federalism. The Forum also disseminates knowledge and technical advice of interest to existing federations and of benefit to countries seeking to introduce federal elements into their governance structures and constitutions. Thus, the Forum deals not only with governments and administrations, but also with civil society organizations in sharing federal knowledge and promoting a federal spirit in a society.

India, represented through the Inter State Council, is a partner government since 2005 in the Forum, which includes Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Switzerland and also Brazil which joined the Forum last year.

In November, 2007, the Forum held its Fourth International Conference on Federalism in New Delhi which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by several heads of government.

Dr Kelkar, a former Finance Secretary, is expected to submit the Report of the 13th Finance Commission by December this year. He will take over the Chair of the Forum in January, 2010 from Dr. Arnold Koller, former President of Switzerland, who has been Chairman since February, 2005.

Dr. George Anderson, former Deputy Minister in Canadian Government, is the President & CEO of the Forum.

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