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July 21, 2009

K. Shankar Bajpai Named Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Library of Congress’ John W. Kluge Center

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has named K. Shankar Bajpai—who served as India’s ambassador to Pakistan, China and the United States—as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center.

At the Library, Bajpai hopes to explore the roots and history of Indo-American relations, and to examine more closely the question of post-colonial attitudes towards the colonial experience. Bajpai’s appointment started in mid-June and will run approximately three months, until September 22.

Bajpai also served as India’s Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, the country’s top diplomat, from 1982 to 1983. The son of India’s Agent-General to the United States during World War II, Bajpai spent many of his formative years in Washington, D.C. An expert in security issues, he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1952. Bajpai served in Germany, Turkey and Pakistan. He was named ambassador to Pakistan from 1976 to 1980, to China from 1980 to 1982 and to the United States from 1984 to 1986.

On retirement from government service in 1986, he entered academic life, working as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and as the first professor of non-Western studies at Brandeis University. He has been a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and the co-founder and chairman of the Delhi Policy Group, an independent policy analysis center in India. The author of numerous articles on diplomacy, foreign affairs and national security, Bajpai was editor of "Democracy and Diversity: Comparing India and the United States" (2007).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 09-143
ISSN 0731-3527

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