About 40 ambassadors have signed up to hear Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his turnaround story of Indian Railways when he addresses the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi on Thursday.
Lalu Prasad, the man who ruled Bihar for 15 years, will speak about the "historic turnaround" of the Indian Railways, that once defaulted on payments worth millions, into a profit-making enterprise - a startling success story that has made the colourful politician and the ministry he runs into a case study by elite universities.
"There is a lot of enthusiasm among young probationers and invited guests about Lalu Yadav's lecture. Around 40 ambassadors have already confirmed their presence for the function," Surendra Kumar, Dean, FSI, told IANS.
"If Harvard University finds the turnaround of the Indian Railways under the leadership of Lalu Prasad a good case study, there got to be something to it. Our idea is to expose young, impressionable diplomats to a diverse spectrum of subjects and personalities," Surendra Kumar, Dean, FSI, told IANS.
"Diplomats can't have a blinkered view of the world. They have to be open to all kinds of developments around them and take interest in all subjects, be it trade and commerce or climate change," said Kumar.
"Besides, we should not forget that IRCON and RITES, bodies associated with the rail ministry, have constructed many rail lines in Africa and brought in business worth millions of dollars. Knowing more about Indian Railways will help them to better project India's image abroad," said Kumar, India's former high commissioner to Kenya.
Lalu's address is part of a guest lecture series called 'India of My Dreams' which Kumar started at the FSI when he took over as the dean of the institute, that has trained many Indian and foreign diplomats from third world countries, over five months ago.