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Rumi Forum Podcast

Rumi Forum was founded in 1999 with the mission to foster intercultural dialogue, stimulate thinking and exchange of opinions on supporting and fostering democracy and peace and to provide a common platform for education and information exchange. The Forum contributes to this ultimate aim by means of conferences, panel discussions, community engagement, luncheons, publications and other activities. In particular the forum has an interest in issues regarding pluralism, peace building and conflict resolution, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, social harmony and justice, civil rights and community cohesion.

Apr 3, 2013


Dr. Balchandra Mungekar, was born in a small village called Munge in the Konkan region of India to a poor Dalit (outcast) parents. Upon his graduation from College in 1965, he joined the Reserve bank of India as a clerk and has made a remarkable journey since against all odds.


A noted economist and an educationist, he organized several grassroots efforts to provide equal economic and political opportunity to people belonging to disadvantaged groups in India.

In year 2000, Dr. Mungekar was appointed to be the Vice-Chancellor of the prestigious Mumbai University.

In 2004, he was handpicked by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, to be a Member of India’s Planning Commission, the top body which officially recommends a Five Year Economic and Industrial Plan for the Government of India.

Since 2009, Dr. Mungekar serves as a Member of India’s Parliament, in the Rajaya Sabha (Upper House).

Dr.Mungekar is one of the Patrons of US India Policy Institute (USIPI) and is visiting the US upon invitation. He will speak on the topic of “India's inclusive growth imperative and the strategic partnership with the US” at public lectures organized by USIPI in New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Orlando and Washington, DC.