IIT Madras is the host of the G20 University Connect lecture series.

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Today, January 24, 2023, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras held a G20 University Connect lecture series focused on ‘Engaging Young Minds’. This event is taking place during India’s tenure as president of G20, the international body that includes 19 countries and the European Union.

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, launched the G20 University Connect, a collaboration between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). This initiative aims to reach out to students from 75 universities in 56 different places in India.

At IIT Madras, Dr. Seshadri Chari, a member of the Governing Board and Council of RIS, declared that India has always been for the idea that everyone should reap the advantages of progress and not keep knowledge to themselves. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, India produced vaccines, some of which were given to other nations. India is eager to create technology in line with the idea of regarding the outside world as an integral part of ourselves.

Dr Seshadri Chari further noted that due to global warming, the planet is becoming increasingly warmer, resulting in the thawing of glaciers and the raising of sea levels, which can submerge countries with large coastlines. In this context, he stressed that India’s strategy of utilizing technology while taking the entire world into consideration is significant and is what best represents India.

Dr Seshadri Chari stated that the G20 has a message for the entire world: we need to work together to solve the problems that affect us all, and India’s message is “One Earth, One family, One future”. Professor Prathap Haridoss, Dean of Academic Courses at IIT Madras, remarked that each of the students present had a role in making India’s progress, and this event was to spread awareness of G20’s significance to India this year, with its diverse population being one of its most distinctive features.

The main goal of this series of lectures across the country is to involve youth in the G20 process and make them aware of the Indian presidency and how it affects them. Professor A Subramanyam Raju, Dean (International Relations) of Pondicherry University, expressed that India is an open society that manages to bridge the gap between conflicting views. He also pointed out India’s ability to facilitate peace, security and wealth among states, in addition to its status as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies without hindering any other countries.

At the on-campus activity, University of Kerala, MCU Bhopal and Panjab University had their students in attendance, interacting with former diplomats and subject experts to create awareness about India’s G20 presidency. Professor Subash mentioned that G20 is a group of nations that come together annually, and this year’s meeting will be hosted by India. In the forthcoming years, countries from the global South will be heading the G20. The agenda has moved on from simply focusing on financial matters to other topics such as climate change, and a major point for discussion will be the taxation of multinational companies in tax havens.

Mayank Tewari


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