October 1, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) — India’s Minister of External Affairs, S.M. Krishna, discussed “India Now” at SMU on Oct. 3 as part of the Carrington Endowed Lecture Series, which was hosted by the SMU Dedman School of Law.
Click here to listen to the remarks by Krishna, who received his law degree from SMU in 1959.
“Minister Krishna’s leadership and contributions have played a significant role in the development of India,” said SMU Dedman School of Law Dean John B. Attanasio. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the community, our alumni and our students to have him back at the law school and hear him speak.”
Krishna oversees India’s government agency responsible for relationships with other countries, and his position is similar to that of U.S. secretary of state. Top members of the Ministry of External Affairs represent India at the United Nations.
Krishna received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Maharaja’s College and a law degree from Government Law College in Bangalore, the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Upon completion of his studies in India, Krishna pursued graduate studies in the U.S., obtaining his Master of Laws degree from SMU Dedman School of Law before later studying and teaching in Washington, D.C., at George Washington University Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. Krishna returned to India to work as a professor of international law at Renukacharya Law College in Bangalore before his election to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962.
He made his debut in Parliament in 1968 as a member of the Lok Sabha (People’s House). In 1972 he was elected to the Legislative Council and inducted as Minister for Commerce, Industries and Parliamentary Affairs, a position he held until 1977. In 1980 he returned to the Lok Sabha to be Minister of State for Industry from 1983-84 and Minister of State for Finance from 1984-85.
Krishna became Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1989 and held the post until 1992, when he was elected Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka. He served in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) from 1996-99 before being elected Chief Minister of Karnataka, a position he held through 2004. Krishna served as Governor of Maharashtra from 2004-08, when he was re-elected as a member to the Rajya Sabha. He was tapped to oversee the External Affairs Ministry in 2009.
Throughout his civic service, some of Krishna’s accomplishments include facilitating the construction of the International Airport in Bangalore, India, as well as improving the country’s overall infrastructure and telecommunications facilities. Krishna is now involved with the World University Service.