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Mani Shankar Aiyar speaker

Mani Shankar Aiyar

speaker location icon Delhi, India

Indian diplomat and politician

Member of the Indian National Congress Party

Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas (2004-06)

Mani Shankar Aiyar is an Indian diplomat, politician and writer. He is currently a member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of External Affairs and a member of the Parliamentary Forum on Disaster Management.

Mani was an Indian National Congress party MP from 1991 to 1996, from 1998 to 1999 and from 2004 to 2009, representing the Mayiladuthurai constituency. He also served in Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government as Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas from 2004 to 2006 and as Minister for Youth and Sports from 2006 to 2009. He was also the first Minister for the Development of the North East Region and served as Minister of Panchayati Raj, overseeing decentralisation and local governance in India.

Prior to his involvement in Indian politics, Mani was a professional diplomat. He served for 26 years in the Indian Foreign Service, the last five of which were on deputation to the Prime Minister’s Office under Rajiv Gandhi (1985–89).

Mani is a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee and a chairman of both the party’s political training department and the department of policy planning and coordination. He is also a well-known political columnist and has written several books, including “Pakistan Papers” (1994), a thorough analysis of India-Pakistan relations.

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Our Comment

"Mani is one of the most prominent public figures in India, often providing commentary on Indian affairs to the domestic and foreign media. His special interests include grassroots democracy and Indian foreign policy with an emphasis on India’s neighbouring countries and nuclear disarmament. His younger brother is the well known journalist Swaminathan Aiyar."

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