Vivekananda International Foundation

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Vivekananda International Foundation
Vivekananda International Foundation Logo.jpg
FounderAjit Doval[1]
TypePublic policy think tank
Headquarters3,San Martin Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110021
Arvind Gupta (administrator)
Parent organization
Vivekananda Kendra

The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) is an Indian public policy think-tank. It is considered to be a right-wing think tank closely aligned with the government of India.[2]

Origins and History[edit]

The Vivekananda International Foundation describes itself as an "independent, non-partisan institution that promotes quality research and in-depth studies." The Foundation was established in December 2009, at a site in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri allotted by the P. V. Narasimha Rao government in 1993. Ajit Doval, who retired as the director of the Intelligence Bureau in 2005, devoted his energies into building the organisation and became its founder Director.[1] The Foundation made news in 2011-2012 when it was said to be instrumental in bringing together Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, along with Baba Ramdev, to form the 'Team Anna'.[3] In 2014, its director Ajit Doval was appointed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India's National Security Advisor. The Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra and the Additional Principal Secretary P. K.  Mishra were also recruited from the Foundation's staff.[4] The Prime Minister Modi is said to have been following the Foundation for some time and is impressed with its work.[5]

The Foundation states that it has no formal organisational links with the RSS or the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, commentators have found Hindu nationalist ideas in several of its publications.[3] The news magazine Tehelka has claimed that the Foundation supplied the intellectual inputs for the Narendra Modi campaign, defended him against charges in the Ishrat Jahan case, and spearheaded the Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement to undercut the United Progressive Alliance government.[1]

Areas of Research[edit]

Its stated mission include:

"to bring together the best minds in India to ideate on key national and international issues; promote initiatives that further the cause of peace and global harmony; monitor social, economic and political trends that have a bearing on India’s unity and integrity; analyse the causes for social and ethnic conflicts leading to extremism and offer policy alternatives; interact with civil society and offer institutional support for exchange of ideas and interaction among conflicting groups; critique public policy and the working of democratic institutions and constitutional bodies; and evolve benchmarks for good governance and efficiency in public institutions."[6]

The Foundation has several centres of study to conduct research in line with its declared mission.

  • Centre for National Security and Strategic Studies
  • Centre for International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Centre for Neighbourhood Studies
  • Centre for Governance and Political Studies
  • Centre for Economic Studies
  • Centre for Historical and Civilisational Studies
  • Centre for Technological and Scientific Studies.
  • Centre for Media Studies.


The Foundation's primary output ranges from short articles and reports published online to monographs and occasional papers. In addition, the Foundation also holds regular seminars and a monthly discourse on contemporary subjects titled "Vimarsh".[7][8] The think tank has also worked with other think tanks on joint reports.[9] A monthly magazine "Vivek" is also brought out by the Foundation [10]


The staff at the Vivekananda International Foundation is largely composed of retired bureaucrats and intelligence officials, and retired military personnel.[11]

It's currently headed by former Deputy NSA of India Arvind Gupta. He took over charge as Director from 3 October 2017.[12][13][14]

Notable current and former members
Name Position in Indian Government under PM Modi Former Position Reference
Ajit Kumar Doval National Security Adviser of India Director of Intelligence Bureau, IPS [15]
Nripendra Misra Principal Secretary to PM Narendra Modi Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, IPS [16]
Anil Baijal Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Urban Development secretary, IAS [15]
Bibek Debroy 1)Member of NITI Aayog

2)Chairman of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister

Professor at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi [17][18][19][20]
V K Saraswat Member of NITI Aayog Director General of the DRDO [18][21]
K G Suresh Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication Senior Consulting Editor at Doordarshan [18]
P K Mishra Additional Principal Secretary to PM Narendra Modi Agriculture Secretary, IAS [22]
Arvind Gupta Former Deputy National Security Adviser of India


Secretary National Security Council Secretariat, IFS [15][23]
A. Surya Prakash Chairperson of Prasar Bharati Chief of Bureau of Indian Express [15]
C D Sahay - Chief of Research and Analysis Wing, IPS [24]
S G Inamdar - Vice Chief of Air Staff [25]
Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy - Chief of Air Staff [26]
Kanwal Sibal - Foreign Secretary, IFS [26]
Balmiki Prasad Singh - Home Secretary, IAS [26]
Prabhat Kumar - Cabinet secretary, IAS [26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Singh, Brijesh (2 August 2014). "The Brains Behind Modi Sarkar". Tehelka.
  2. ^ "Right-wing think-tanks eat into Left's mindspace". dna. 2014-09-14. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  3. ^ a b In the right place, Business Standard, 7 June 2014.
  4. ^ From Vivekananda to PMO stars: Meet Modi's favourite think tank, Firstpost, 17 June 2014.
  5. ^ PMO borrows officers from VIF, Afternoon Despatch & Courier, 4 June 2014.
  6. ^ "VIF Vision and Mission". Vivekananda International Foundation. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Bar criminals from contesting polls: Sangma". Deccan Herald. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Vimarsh at VIF". Vivekananda International Foundation. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  9. ^ "'Towards a stable Afghanistan: The Way Forward" (PDF). Royal United Services Foundation. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  10. ^ "Vivek- Monthly magazine of the VIF". Vivekananda International Foundation.
  11. ^ "VIF Research team". Vivekananda International Foundation. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  12. ^ India, V. I. F. (6:34 AM - 3 Oct 2017). "VIF is happy to announce the appointment of Dr Arvind Gupta @lbscidsa as Director, @vifindia". @vifindia. Retrieved 2017-10-03. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ Gupta, Arvind (8:50 AM - 3 Oct 2017). "Today began new innings as Director VIF. VIF aims to look at issues from an Indian, nationalist view point. Thank you for good wishes". @lbscidsa. Retrieved 2017-10-03. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Research Team". Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  15. ^ a b c d "Old boys' foundation scores again in Delhi". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  16. ^ "Six more from RSS think-tank to join govt". Free Press Journal. 29 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Dr Bibek Debroy, Dean, Centre for Economic Studies". Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  18. ^ a b c "Not RSS, join VIF and wait to be welcomed aboard PM Modi's privileged squad". Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  19. ^ "Modi revives Economic Advisory Council". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 2017-09-25. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  20. ^ "Can Debroy's Dual Role as NITI Aayog Member and PM's Economic Adviser Lead to Confusion?". News18. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  21. ^ "Dr V K Saraswat, Dean, Centre for Technological and Scientific Studies, VIF". Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  22. ^ "P.K Mishra appointed Additional Principal Secretary to Modi". The Indian Express. 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  23. ^ "Former deputy NSA Arvind Gupta to head Vivekananda Intl Foundation". 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
  24. ^ "The Brains Behind Modi Sarkar | Brijesh Singh | Tehelka - Investigations, Latest News, Politics, Analysis, Blogs, Culture, Photos, Videos, Podcasts". Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  25. ^ "Air Marshal SG Inamdar, PVSM, VSM (Executive Council, VIF)". Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  26. ^ a b c d "Advisory Board". Retrieved 2017-01-01.