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BIMSTEC Kolkata Meet: Cross border studies main focus on fostering educational cooperation BIMSTEC
Image: BIMSTEC Twitter page

BIMSTEC Kolkata Meet: Cross border studies main focus on fostering educational cooperation

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Mar 2023, 11:02 pm

Kolkata, Mar 26: Educational exchanges, scholarship mechanisms and cross border studies were issues taken up in the BIMSTEC Summit with the theme fostering educational cooperation.

Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari, Director, IIT, Kharagpur talking on the occasion, said: “When we talk about fostering regional co-operation through education, one should go start with the Swamiji as he rightly believes that it’s is through education intellectual, physical and spiritual development happens. By spiritual development he doesn’t mean on the lines of dharma rather the spirit or, the ethics of education. Fostering that through neighbouring countries and BIMSTEC partners in particular, through various internships, short courses that involve both the student and the faculty members."

Another, important aspect would be definitely to be looking into the problematic aspects/challenges and synthesising academic think tanks that would help to devise solutions to the problems. As the impeding impact of the digitization and digital education can be felt, the feasibility of educational visas and integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning should also be looked into. This would enhance opportunities for the academia-policy connect and through tailor-made courses further foster the cross border cultural educational connect.”

Debjyoti Chanda, Head, Department of Mass Communication and Videography, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, said: “The crux of educational cooperation begins with academic collaboration- for both faculty and students not only at the region-specific area but through a cross border connect and exchange programs in this direction is very important. It is important that we look into the fact that even though cross border educational exchange scholarships among the BIMSTEC nations are there, there is little to show on this in BIMSTEC.”

“India as one of the oldest knowledge societies had maintained academic and cultural links with the BIMSTEC nations since ancient times. Soft Power can play a pivotal role in further development of India’s relation with the BIMSTEC countries and educational diplomacy is considered a potent tool of execution of India’s soft power. This has been well recognised by India’s policy framers as education plays a significant role in the expansion of national influence beyond its borders. The BIMSTEC secretariat in Dhaka is expected to play a more proactive and pivotal role to facilitate academic exchange and educational cooperation between the BIMSTEC countries,” he added.

Prof Meena Vaidya Malla, Advisor, Policy Research Institute (PRI), Govt. of Nepal, Member, Academic Sub-Committee, IDC, National Defence University, Nepal, Former Head, Central Department of Political Science, said: "All regions should come up to make as much effective and dynamic as possible regarding the educational cooperation. BIMSTEC must also be effective in sharing education and awareness and facilitating regional agenda. It is also important to empower individuals and make all aware of the activities done. Educational cooperation is important to people to connect. It is also important to foster relations between BIMSTEC countries. I also feel that bringing in experts together and working collectively will eventually lead to mutual benefit. Also, educational cooperation must go ahead, and women empowerment must also be made aware among all.”

Dr Piyanat Soikham, Assistant to the President for Organizational Communication and Public Engagement, Ubon Ratchathani University; Chair of India Studies Group at Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand, said: "It is important to uplift the quality of life. Inter-communication between people of different backgrounds is vital. It is crucial to invest in the youth generation and engage schools in this initiative. It is also important to create awareness curriculum on BIMSTEC for university students. Providing an understanding of BIMSTEC to the youth is important. Currently, in Thailand, e-learning and e-books on BIMSTEC have been introduced among the youth and the BIMSTEC network of social science teachers in Thailand. Also, cultivating future leaders with educational ties is BIMSTEC'S worthy responsibility."