Is your appointment part of hardline cleansing?
Najma Heptullah was asked to resign, she didn't. I assumed office after she completed her full term.
It's your second tenure with ICCR, you were VP in '82...
Apart from the ICCR, I've been deeply involved in cultural activities, when the offer came I accepted.
Any special support?
Pavan Varma is our new director general. He has just returned from the Nehru Centre, London, with ideas and energy.
You want to double the budget?
Mostly to build new centres in Kabul, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi and Washington.
That's a troubled quartet.
These are people and places with whom we share cultural connections.
How will you use cultural diplomacy to build relationships?
Culture along with politics and economy together form a triveni that'll win us friends.
Any weakening links?
China, Japan, Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, the UK, Africa and Surinam.
How can this be changed?
When the PM makes a foreign visit, the iccr...