“We need to engage with and empower the youths to promote the cause of sustainable development and social well-being”said Mahjabin Banu, President, Society for Policy Research and Empowerment (SPRE), New Delhi. She was delivering the presidential address in the inaugural session of the two-day international conference on Emerging Discourse in Social Sciences and Management organised by SPRE on January 19-20, 2018 at India International Centre, New Delhi.
As convener of this conference, Banu asserted that “we are offering a platform for scholarly deliberations, and we hope this multi-disciplinary dialogue contributes to developmental agenda and provide pragmatic directions for public policy”. She also said that in the emerging socio-economic landscape,there are plethora of opportunities for development, and emphasised on the need to support public policy initiatives like Make in India and Skill India.
Suresh Kumar, Professor & Head, Department of African Studies, University of Delhi, and the honourable guest on the occasion delivered a special address on India-Africa relations. He highlighted the importance of building this engagement and appreciated the contributions of Indian diaspora in Africa. “India promotes skill development to African youths and is also working on transfer of technology, capacity building and finance” he said. He also outlined that the human resource development in Africa is 900 million and skill development strengthens the institutions of higher learning across multiple disciplines. Kumar also observed that the Indian diaspora in Africa may set an additional engagement working with African partner and Indian companies.
R K Wadhwa, Director, Global Business Consultants and an ex-Professor of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi stressed on the potential and future prospects of the Start-up India program. In his special address in the inaugural session of the conference, he emphasized on the significant role played by international trade in creating employment opportunities. He said that trade gears up the economic growth and development of a country, thereby uplifting the society at large.Wadhwa also said that various reforms and initiatives launched by the government are expected to further improve India’s international trading position.
In another special address during the inaugural session, Faisal Ahmed, a renowned trade and geopolitical expert, discussed the importance of geopolitical factors in shaping international economic relations. He highlighted the geopolitical issues pertinent to the South China Sea, Indian Ocean Rim and One Belt One Road, among others. Ahmed maintained that the pro-active stances taken by the government on these issues have helped re-define India’s geopolitical gravity. He also asserted that we need to maintain this continuity and coherence in our diplomacy to leverage the benefits in the area of international trade as well.
A book titled “Emerging Discourse on Social Sciences and Management” comprising of the research work of the participating delegates was also released on the occasion. The book contains thirty-nine scholarly chapters of which sixteen chapters have been authored by foreign scholars. The two-day witnessed deliberations on several multi-disciplinary themes such as geo-economics and international trade, history of India and diaspora studies, international relations and area studies, cultural psychology and social systems, and management and inter-disciplinary studies. “Deliberations on such multi-disciplinary themes would help in providing a meaningful direction to the body of knowledge as well as to the discourse therein”, added Banu.
In the valedictory session of the conference, the SPRE Social Excellence Awards 2018 were given to five professionals, who were selected for this recognition for their contribution in creating a social impact in their individual capacity. These recipients who are from diverse social and professional background include Pankhuri Srivastava, Manu Chopra, Suresh Singh, Mohd Zafar Iqbal and Arti Bali. The awards were given away by the chief guest of the valedictory session, M. Durga Mohan, Professor and Director, Usha and Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi. Other eminent scholars R K Wadhwa and KR Kaushik also graced the occasion. M Durgamohan in his valedictory speech emphasised the importance of information and communication technology in development and also stressed the need to focus on our culture and giving back to the society.