Guest Lectures

Called upon to speak on the working of India’s Election Commission and on election-related and governance issues by a number of educational institutions in India and overseas. These have included Law Schools and Schools of Management as well. He has made time to talk with students and faculty, on an average of 10 institutions each year. Specifically, these have included the Central Universities of Delhi, Pondicherry, the North East, the University of Kashmir as well as several affiliated colleges such as St. Stephens College in Delhi (his alma mater), Loyola College in Chennai, St Xavier College in Kolkata, St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, The National Law School in Puri (Orissa), Symbiosis (Pune) and many more. He has also addressed students at the London School of Economics on the invitation of Lord Meghnad Desai, a faculty member. Institutions overseas that he has addressed include the Washington –based think tank Brookings, where Strobe Talbott invited him for a luncheon meeting. He has had the rare privilege of addressing parliamentarians in Bhutan, and the members of the Election Commission of Nepal (2014). In October 2014 he has a long tour that will take him to the a conference of Latin American Democracies organised by the INE and OAS jointly in Mexico City, where this annual conference discusses issues of elections and democracy. Thereafter he has been invited to address the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, followed by talks at Chicago University, SAIS ( Johns Hopkins University) and the University of Pennsylvania.

As Mother Teresa’s biographer, he has spoken a great deal on her life and work. In 2010, the new edition of his biography on Mother Teresa was released by the then President of India Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhawan ( the Presidents House), in the presence of many distinguished people. On his request all the Missionaries of Charity Sisters based in New Delhi were invited.

In a unique honour and also a testimony to the secular nature of India, he was singularly chosen jointly by Mother Teresa’s organization, the Missionary of Charity and Ministry of Human Resources Development, to deliver the keynote address at UNESCO Paris, which honoured Mother Teresa in her centenary year in 2010. It did not go unnoticed that Chawla is a practising Hindu and did not share Mother Teresa’s religion. However, he became passionate advocate of her work for the poor in India and other parts of the world.