‘Unlocking Opportunities to Connect with Global Mainstream’: Jaishankar Inaugurates J-K’s 1st Int’l Education Fair


Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar inaugurated Jammu and Kashmir’s first-ever International Education Fair in New Delhi on Tuesday. Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State at PMO Jitendra Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also attended the event held at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan.


Speaking at the event organised by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology (SKUAST-Kashmir) and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Jaishankar lauded the process of change that began in Jammu and Kashmir three years ago due to the Centre’s goal of providing the same opportunities for advancement and prosperity to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as are enjoyed by the rest of India.


Hailing the process kickstarted by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government with the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status via Article 370 three years ago, the External Minister said the integration of people from Jammu and Kashmir into the nation’s mainstream is essential.


“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 educational event. It is an integral part of ensuring that a very important region of India is connected to what is happening in the world,” he said.


He also observed that Indian universities should focus on inviting more foreign students to their campuses. “Today, India has completed or is in the process of delivering projects in 78 countries. So, if our relationships are extensive, investments deep and networking good, we need to see that translated into a greater flow of international students to India,” 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,” he added.


Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also congratulated the Jammu and Kashmir government for showcasing the strength and vibrancy of India’s higher education landscape and the knowledge legacy of the union territory.


“Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a new dawn of development under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister. With the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP), we are internationalising our education sector. The Education Ministry will support, encourage and facilitate the globalisation of SKUAST Kashmir,” he said.


He also encouraged all the universities to join efforts to establish India as a global study destination.


Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh said the National Education Policy brought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds the promise to open career and start-up opportunities driven by aptitude, skill and flexible options at capacity building.


“Jammu and Kashmir has the potential to be the torchbearer of India’s Agri Start-up movement, thanks to its rich agricultural legacy, the Aroma Mission, and the Purple Revolution,” Singh said.


Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also thanked Prime Minister Modi for accelerating the development of the union territory and transforming the erstwhile state into a favourite destination for students, travellers and entrepreneurs.


“Our aim is to invite international students to Jammu and Kashmir for short and long-term courses in various disciplines and strengthen the international connection. Over the past three years, we have focused on strengthening the education sector and developing knowledge workers in sectors including industries, agriculture and health care. Sincere efforts have been made to convert the knowledge dividends into wealth for the process of innovation and growth,” Sinha said.


The Lt Governor also observed that the initiative by SKUAST-Kashmir will set an example for other universities in the country. The Lt Governor mentioned professional faculties high standard of living in the union territory and said it is also offering variety of courses, including artificial intelligence, robotics, agri science, yoga, Sanskrit and interfaces with the industries for research and innovation.


Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as a major education destination as it has 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, he added.

“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.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe assured the cooperation and support of ICCR to Jammu and Kashmir in organizing the exchange programs of artisan and organising fairs.

Ambassadors, High Commissioners and members of ICAR, ICCR, UGC, and SKUAST-K also attended the event.


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