22 January 2020
Davos: O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) Vice Chancellor, C. Raj Kumar, spoke to a global audience in three separate sessions at this years World Economic Forum (WEF) being held in Davos, Switzerland from January 21-24.
"Indian universities can play a global catalytic role for promoting sustainable futures given the significant demographic situation that prevails in India. This is further underlined by the fact that more than 850 million people in India are less than 35 years of age and India's life expectancy has increased to 71 years," Kumar said.
"Some measures that the universities can take include providing representative access, particularly to marginalised groups of citizens; balancing such access with the provision of university environments that are of global standards; helping our students bridge gaps in communication and thinking skills that can meet the requirements of globalised careers and roles; and perhaps most importantly, institutionalising efforts to identify and correct social and economic disparities," he said.
As part of the Caspian Week - WEF sessions, Kumar spoke at two panels. The first panel discussion on the theme: "Education & Leadership for Sustainable World" focused on educational leadership, sustainability, inclusive development, institutional cultural change, and pedagogies of sustainability.
The second panel discussion was on the theme: "The Role of Global Universities in Promoting Sustainable Futures", where the discussion focused on challenges that universities are confronted with today and that global universities can play a specific role in advancing the cause of sustainable development.
In addition to Caspian Week - WEF panel discussions, Kumar was also invited to speak at the Times Higher Education (THE) Exclusive Davos Breakfast Debate, in collaboration with the University of Toronto, on "What is the power of place?" held on Wednesday at the ETH Zurich Pavilion in Davos.
Kumar is the only Vice Chancellor from India to be invited to speak at Davos, and JGU is the only university from India to be included in this global round table, the university said in a statement.
Only 11 global university vice chancellors/presidents were invited to be a part of this WEF - Davos round table.
JGU said it will also sign at Davos a memorandum of understanding with the University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland for mutual cooperation in higher education and research.