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Home > News > Report

RAW opens doors for Kumarmangalam Birla

A Correspondent | January 12, 2008 00:45 IST
Last Updated: January 12, 2008 01:10 IST

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The Research and Analysis Wing seems to be finally changing its culture of secrecy and unfriendliness.

India's premier external intelligence agency has invited none other than industrialist Kumarmangalam Birla to deliver a lecture in memory of its founder R N Kao, the founding father of R&AW who passed away on January 20, 2002.

In 2007, a few weeks before his retirement, Hormis Tharakan, the then head of R&AW, instituted an annual commemorative lecture in his memory coinciding with the anniversary of Kao's death, after obtaining the approval of the government.

The first lecture was delivered by Shashi Tharoor, whose selection had surprised many and disliked by some. Tharoor spoke, inter alia, on the need for greater transparency in the work of the R&AW.

Apart from senior officers of the R&AW, the lecture was also attended by retired senior officers of the agency, serving senior officers of the government and a select group of journalists, who were invited to the R&AW premises for the first time.

Ashok Chaturvedi, the present chief, has invited Birla, the talented chief of Birla group of companies, to deliver the second commemorative lecture on January 18. It is not known why an industrialist was chosen this year and what the theme of his lecture would be.