Kalahandi: Kalahandi University, with support from the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), hosted the State’s first G20 University Connect Lecture. These lecture series are being conceptualised and led by RIS with an overarching theme of Engaging the Young Minds and reinforce Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India’s ongoing G20 Presidency a people’s movement through Jan Bhagidari.
Prof Sanjay Kumar Satapathy, Vice Chancellor of the university, welcomed the guests and thanked RIS for their support and collaboration.
In his Keynote Address, Prof Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General RIS, underscored the need to engage and encourage young university and college students in the overall G20 discussions. He highlighted the overall significance of the G20 group and the unique contribution of India’s Presidency through various engagement mechanisms under the Sherpa and Finance tracks and the Engagement Groups. “The University Connect is a unique initiative as part of this engagement to mobilise more youth engagement in the G20 discussions and recommendations”, emphasised Prof Chaturvedi. He stressed on the key dimensions of emerging development paradigm such as global economic order, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), climate change, SDGs, local context, Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE). He congratulated the Kalahandi University administration for convening the G20 University Connect Lecture Series and encouraged the university to use this lecture as an opportunity to convene many more dialogues with the students and faculties to discuss local development challenges and work towards solutions.
Shri Sujeet Kumar, Honourable Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), who was Chief Guest of the occasion, encouraged the students and faculties to engage in critical development issues through participation, dialogues and learning from experts and institutions such as RIS. “This is a unique moment for Kalahandi district, which is also an Aspirational District, to host a G20 event and this also demonstrates India’s leadership in making G20 a people’s movement,” the MP said. Mr Kumar, who is an alumnus of the Kalahandi University, thanked RIS for considering the university’s interest to host the University Connect lecture.
A career counselling session for students was conducted by Dr. Priyadarshi Dash, Associate Professor, RIS.
An interaction session with students was moderated by Mr. Jyotiraj Patra, an alumnus of the university, who is a Leadership in Environment and Development (LEAD) Fellow and currently works as a climate change specialist for a multi-lateral organization. Students asked diverse set of questions ranging from G20’s role in promoting economic and trade cooperation among member countries to the Indian Presidency’s contribution in tackling climate change issues, financial inclusion and reformed multilateralism.
On this occasion, Momentum LiFE (MoLiFE) was launched by the guests. MoLiFE is an initiative to promote more sustainable lifestyles and environmentally responsible actions by the youth and general public. This is aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a LiFE movement. MoLife aims to strengthen LiFE by encouraging youth and citizens to participate, practice and promote (3Ps) in sustainability actions.
The event was followed by an Interactive Dialogue with Prof Sachin Chaturvedi. This was an opportunity for civil society organizations, faculties, people’s representatives and entrepreneurs to interact with Prof Chaturvedi on various development issues. Prof Chaturvedi, who is also the Ex-officio Vice Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Rajya Niti Evam Yojna Aayog, shared his experience of working with cross-cutting issues of poverty alleviation, financial literacy and good governance. He suggested the CSOs and Kalahandi University to prepare the Kalahandi Development Report and ensured RIS’s support in this initiative. This report will analyse the pressing development challenges in the district and build an evidence-base and propose solutions.
The university is planning to convene such student engagement forums on a regular basis to increase their awareness, knowledge and interest in various development issues and build skills to address them.
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