Launch Meeting & Training Seminar — GRANITE

The launch meeting and a four-day training seminar under the project titled ‘Grassroots Reachout & Networking in India on Trade & Economics (GRANITE) was conducted by CUTS-CITEE, at Harish Chandra Mathur – Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration (HCM-RIPA), Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, on February 24-27, 2005. The Nodal Persons and Programme Coordinators of selected project partnering organisations from eight states across the country Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal attended the event. The role of CUTS — CITEE has been envisaged as that of a “mother unit” in the project. The project will be implemented over two years in the above-mentioned states with a specific focus on agriculture and textiles and clothing sectors of the Indian economy.

The overall objective of the project is to create the long-term capacity of grassroots civil society organisations and local media to address complex issues of globalisation and the WTO (World Trade Organisation), and their relationship with economic development and governance in India.

The event was inaugurated in the morning of 24th February 2005 with a formal launch of the project and welcome address, which was followed by an extensive training session on “implementation aspects of the project”.

The interactive sessions in the following days were facilitated by well-known experts in the area of trade and WTO issues. Among others, T C A Srinivas Raghavan, Economic Journalist also facilitated a session on trade and WTO. The other invited resource persons for the event provided useful and important information on economic reforms being introduced in India, and affecting the lives of marginalised sections of India, specially in the sectors of agriculture and textiles and clothing.

The event was marked by articulation of perceptions of various civil society organisations, which are showing deep interest in percolating benefits down to the grassroots through the WTO and the country’s trade related policies.