Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cambridge University's International Summit in India

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Monday stressed the need for more centres of higher learning “with uncompromising standards of education” around the world. She was speaking as chief guest of Cambridge University’s International Summit in Delhi, which was organised with an aim to bring together business leaders, politicians, academicians and journalists to address India’s key challenges in the changing global scenario.

Kumar also emphasised the role played by several Cambridge University alumni in India’s freedom struggle and lauded the nation’s rapidly-growing economy. “The litmus test for an egalitarian society is that the fruits of development must reach the disadvantaged and the marginalised,” she said.

Union Human Resource Development and Information Technology (IT) Minister Kapil Sibal, who was the guest of honour, identified IT as the “only tool” to bridge the gap between advantaged and marginalised sections of society. “In the next two-and-a-half years, we are going to connect around 250 gram panchayats in the country through fibre optic (cables). There is enormous opportunity in IT,” he said.

Sibal called for greater understanding among education systems such as awarding “combined degrees”. "The way manufacturing from most countries is outsourced to China and software outsourced to India, we need to create more institutions so that outsourcing to India becomes inevitable," he said. Minister Sibal said major breakthroughs have been made in the area of research. “From 2004 onwards, the number of published papers per capita has grown tremendously. Perhaps, more than anywhere else in the world,” he said.

Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz, said summits like this allows academics to engage in “the best way” with their international counterparts. Other speakers included Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, HSBC India chief Naina Lal Kidwai, JNU’s Economics professor emeritus Prabhat Patnaik, CPM politburo member Brinda Karat and award-winning filmmaker Prakash Jha.

Source: The Indian Express, September 11, 2012

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