NEW DELHI: J&K’s first International Education Fair, a collaborative effort of SKUAST-Kashmir and ICCR was inaugurated by Union Minister for External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar today in presence of Union Minister for Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan; Union MoS, PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh; Lieutenant Governor, Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Sinha and President ICCR, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, New Delhi today.
Union External Affairs Minister, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Chief Guest for the event, complemented the SKUSAT-Kashmir for the International Education Fair initiative. He said three years ago, the process of change started in J&K which was intended to ensure that full benefits of the development and progress that the rest of India had seen for many many years are also now completely available to the people, especially to the youth of J&K.
In that sense, people of J&K being in the national mainstream was extremely important. It was also by doing so, they would connect up with the rest of India and the International mainstream. For me it is not just an education event, it is a very integral part of ensuring that a very important region of India is connected to what is happening in the world,” Dr. Jaishankar said.
He also observed that Indian universities should focus on inviting more foreign students to their campuses.
“Today, India has projects done or under-delivery in 78 countries of the world. So, if our relationships are so extensive, investments are so deep & networking is so good, we need to see that translated into a greater flow of international students to India,” Dr. Jaishankar said.
“In a globalised world, it’s absolutely essential that young people of India are fully aware of what’s happening in the world and there is no better way to do that than having international students among you,” Dr. Jaishankar added.
Union Minister for Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan congratulated the Government of J&K for showcasing the strength and vibrancy of India’s higher education landscape as well as the knowledge legacy of Jammu & Kashmir.
“J&K is witnessing a new dawn of development under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister. With the implementation of National Education Policy, we are internationalising our education sector. The Education Ministry will support, encourage and facilitate the globalisation of SKUAST-Kashmir,” Shri Pradhan said.
He also encouraged all the universities to join efforts to establish India as a global study destination.
Union MoS, Dr. Jitendra Singh said the National Education Policy brought by Hon’ble Prime Minister holds the promise to open career and Start-up opportunities driven by aptitude, skill and flexi options at capacity building.
“Jammu Kashmir has a rich legacy of unexplored agricultural avenues, Aroma Mission and Purple Revolution, which imparts it the potential of being the torchbearer of Agri StartUp movement in India, Dr. Jitendra Singh said.
Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Shri Manoj Sinha expressed his gratitude to Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji for accelerating development of J&K and transforming it into a favourite destination for students, travellers and entrepreneurs.
The Lt Governor said with this initiative J&K has launched a dedicated programme for foreign students.
“Our aim is to invite international students to J&K for short-term and long-term courses in various disciplines & strengthen the international connect. Over the past three years, we have focused on strengthening education sector, developing knowledge workers for sectors like industries, agriculture & health care. Sincere efforts have been made to convert the knowledge dividends into wealth for process of innovation & growth,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor also observed that the initiative of SKUAST-Kashmir will set an example for other universities of the country as well.
“Apart from campuses nestled in nature’s paradise, professional faculties, high standard of living, J&K is also offering variety of courses starting from Artificial Intelligence, Robotics to Agri science, Yoga, Sanskrit & interface with the industries for research & innovation,” the Lt Governor further said.
The Lt Governor said with more than 150 higher education institutions, two central universities, seven state universities, two AIIMS, IIM, IIT, NIT, NIFT, IIMC and two Agriculture Science and Technology universities, Jammu Kashmir has emerged as a favourite destination for students in India.
He also said that paradigm shift towards virtues of life which humanity is witnessing is also an opportunity for enhancing quality of life by exchange programs between the countries and learn from each other and enable each other to achieve greater heights in our journey.
“The whole world is looking at India with admiration and hope. There never was a better time to be in India to witness and comprehend the glorious chapters of ancient civilization and immortal organic composite culture. The foreign student’s residential and exchange programmes, people-to-people contacts and institutional interactions with different institutions of Jammu Kashmir will enrich and strengthen global cultural synergies,” the Lt Governor added.
Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) assured the cooperation and support of ICCR to J&K in organizing the exchange programs of artisans and fairs whereby the message of changing new aspirational J&K goes loud and clear to other countries.
Distinguished Ambassadors, High Commissioners and members of ICAR, ICCR, UGC, and SKUAST-K were present on the occasion.