Universities must be an ideal version of Democracy: Tharoor
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: "In a democratic society, universities must evolve into spaces where an ideal version of democracy is allowed to thrive. In other words, our universities must become the staging grounds for experiments in developing the most principled version of our democratic ethos. And by extension, a microcosm of what our democratic society one day could be," said Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament.
"We cannot reach these ideals if we do not actively strive to ensure that our campuses are inclusive and representative. No democratic model can sustain itself if it does not carve out spaces for all voices, no matter how big or small to be heard. This cannot merely be rectified through instruments like affirmative action, and need-based scholarship programmes, but through a commitment to really taking a stock of the barriers to access, and inclusion, that permeates all levels of our society," he said.
Tharoor was delivering the Distinguished Public Lecture at the World Universities Summit 2021 on "Universities of the Future: Building Institutional Resilience, Social Responsibility and Community Impact" organised by O.P. Jindal Global University.
Over 30 themes related to Universities and Higher Education across the world are being discussed at this summit. Some of the sessions were held on the following subjects: On a Road to Equity: University Support System to Promote Diversity & Inclusion in Higher Education; Minding the Gap: Rethinking Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment amid the Covid-19 Disruption; Virtualizing Mobility: Innovations for Internationalisation of Higher Education and Paradigm Shift: Role of Technology in Strengthening the Universities of the Future.
Other sessions will include academic luminaries such as Professor (Dr.) Siv Pam Fredman, President, International Association of Universities; Dr. M.K. Sridhar, Member, Central Advisory Board of Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India; Ms. Sahana Singh, Author and Columnist; Professor (Dr.) Dinesh Singh, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi.
This summit will also see senior leadership from multiple National, Regional and International organizations including Professor (Dr.) Uttam Gaulee, President, Society for Transnational Academic Research (STAR) Network, Mr. Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education (THE), Mr. Ben Sowter, Senior Vice President, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President, Association of American Universities and Colleges, Dr. George R. Boggs, President and CEO Emeritus, American Association of Community Colleges, Dr. Nina Arnhold, Global Lead for Tertiary Education, World Bank.
The three-day virtual event with global leaders of higher education will help to reimagine the 'Universities of the Future' and strengthen their vision and commitment towards institutional resilience, social responsibility and community impact.