The Times of India Bangalore featured a piece in its 30th August 2015 edition which surveyed the various think tanks in Bangalore. The article mentions how various think tanks have deliberately chosen to be far away from Delhi, and setup operations in a young and vibrant city such as Bangalore.
Nandan Nilekani, who has helped establish many think tanks in Bengaluru, including the Takshashila Institution, is quoted as saying:
As cities become engines of creativity and innovation, a logical extension of that is think tanks that reflect the energy, culture and profile of the city. Takshashila is one such which is young, vibrant and full of new ideas, new narratives and new insights reflecting the ethos of Bengaluru.
Nitin Pai, Director of the Takshashila Institution explained the rationale behind setting up base in Bangalore thus:
The best thing working away from Delhi and one big reason we are located here is that we have the ability to focus on issues at a lower temperature, with a wider perspective and with longer time horizon. Some of the projects we are working on in cyber strategy, geoeconomics and defence economics would have been harder to do in Delhi. The biggest negative is that domestic and international media think that Delhi is where all the action is, and tend to forget that other cities have good institutions too. This used to be a constraint in the past, before social media. The arrival of social media is mitigating this disadvantage.
On raising funds for think tanks, Nitin was quoted as saying:
Fundraising for a think tank is more difficult than for direct charity or social enterprise. Bengaluru has a large number of philanthropists who give to charity and social enterprises, but there are a number of people who are also interested in public policy. As more think tanks come up, fundraising might get easier as potential donors become aware of the usefulness and impact of policy research institutions. I think Takshashila has crossed the chasm of fire that was the 2014 election where many donors looked at funding through a partisan perspective. We certainly have been fortunate to have backers who have a hands-off approach to our work.
Read the entire piece here.