Guwahati, February 1: To support G20- University Connect Program IIT Guwahati initiated a special event 'Building Bridges to achieve SDGS' on Jan 28, 2023 in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Research and Information Systems,(RIS) New Delhi, and North East Training and Research Advocacy (NETRA) foundation.
As a Pre event, a Quiz about G20 and its goal was conducted for the awareness among university students where more than 200 students participated. 50 students across different disciplines and universities were invited for in house panel discussion with dignitaries and experts. About 100 students from different universities participated online in the live event, in hybrid mode.
Dignitaries and selected student ambassadors were welcome by Prof Vimal Katiyar, Dean Research and Development (R&D), IIT Guwahati. He urged for greater participation from youths and students to resolve global issues led by technological advances in research and development in India and IIT Guwahati in particular.
"I am delighted to know that 'G20 University Connect' is being organized in IIT Guwahati. I am sure such a platform will help in building partnerships and achieving Technological Solutions for Global Challenges. Such novel goals can be achieved through deliberations among distinguished experts and dignitaries. Involvement of youths of the world in general, and youths of NE region in particular, would give a great fillip to such initiative.'
Prof Arvind Kumar, distinguished speaker on international strategic affairs from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), shared his insights on India’s role in G20 that will create win-win situation for all, and shall address pertinent global issues, including economic recession and concerns related to sustainable development.
Prof Haloi, President NETRA foundation shared keen insights on North eastern holistic life values and emphasized on family as a unit cell for greater good of society as a global model, there by practicing “Vasudev Katumbakam”.
Prof. Polly Vauquline from Department of Women’s Studies, Gauhati University emphasized on gender mainstreaming in the structure, programs and policies of higher education more so in science and technology to lessen the gender gaps and make it more inclusive. She stressed that gender auditing by using gender sensitive assessment tools are essential to look into the gaps, gender biases and blindness.
Prof Saurabh Basu, Professor of Physics and former Dean outreach, IIT Guwahati spoke on transformational outreach programs conducted by IIT Guwahati across India and North East particularly as a reference models for improving education and bridging educational divide among G20 nations
Prof Sisir Nayak from Dept. of EEE, recommended development of open access research sharing platforms and initiating joint technology development programs among G20 Nations.
During interaction with the students, Prof. Jayanta Choudhury, from Tripura University and Secretary General, NETRA Foundation emphasized on localisation of G20 in the North Eastern part of India. He mentioned that North East India has several good things to present to G20 delegates. Such as Organic Farming of Sikkim, rich Tribal culture of all North eastern states, Forest based Eco Tourism, Green energy, Border trade etc.
Prof Farrukh Khalid and Prof Ranjith T, from School of Energy sciences and Engineering , IIT Guwahati, shared their insights on bridging gap for research and technology development
Discussions were followed by energetic interaction and pertinent questions of the participating students with the eminent guests. The questions and suggestions ranged from use of technology for bridging language barriers to how best to connect and include the marginalized section such as orphanages, and students who are not part of formal university programs so that 'Leave No One behind' (LNOB), the core commitment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With a Vote of Thanks to guests and appreciations to the efforts of organizing students – Brijesh Meena, Debika Chanu, Jeet Brahma, Siddharth, along with the student representatives Sarthak Saxena the convener Dr Harsh Chaturvedi summarized the meeting emphasizing on institutionalizing and interconnecting both global and local mechanisms for developing economically-feasible and ecologically-responsible technology there by bridging economic, social, gender, educational and geographical disparities to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) across G20 nations.