Shillong: Under the aegis of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), a delegation of 38 gifted youth leaders from eight countries such as Chile, Kenya, Ecuador, Mexico, Suriname, New Zealand, Nigeria visited North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong this morning with a purpose of mutual learning and interaction with NEHU faculty and students.
The Office of International Affairs (OIA) of NEHU held the meeting cum interaction to felicitate these foreign delegates from eight different countries who are part of a mission called “NextGen Democracy” and paid a state visit to NEHU to share their experience of democratic processes and struggles in their respective countries with NEHU fraternity.
The Vice-Chancellor of NEHU presided over the programme and felicitated the visiting dignitaries. Dignitaries included Member of Parliament from Suriname, Kanafe Josafat Obed, who represents African origin people in Suriname parliament and expressed his pleasure at NEHU’s hospitality and the level of discussion. Another prominent public figure included Norbert Andrew Ouma of Kenya, who is a grassroot politician, who shared his rich experience of being a footballer and a grassroot level party builder. A significant voice from Chile, Maite Estay, who is the spokesperson of Chilean Confederation of Students, showed her solidarity and empathy for women’s role in public life in a democracy as well as in leading the university in research and studies. Another noted political personae from City administration of Cuenca under the provincial government of Azuay of Ecuador expressed her desire to explore Shillong and Meghalaya and found quite a few learnable things in her brief visit to NEHU.
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In a similar vein, Aryana Nafissi, a prominent opposition leader and tax consultant from New Zealand expressed her deep interest in India’s democratic processes and exhorted NEHU in making rapid strides in understanding the global democratic scenario by way of creating leadership.
Deans of Schools such as Prof. Erwa Jyrwa, Prof. Lucy Zehol, Prof. Vanlalnghak, Prof. A.K. Chandra, Prof. N. Saha, Prof. Iftekar Hussain felicitated the visiting dignitaries and exhorted them for a future collaboration and trust building.
Prof. Debendra K. Nayak, seniormost Professor of NEHU felicitated dignitaries from Nigeria and Mexico and expressed his deep interest in academic and cultural bonds that exist between India and visiting dignitaries. Prof. Don Syiem too felicitated visiting Nigerain dignitary and exhorted the need for building trust and partnership.
The Vice-Chancellor of NEHU then appreciated the role of Government of India under the able leadership of Narendra Modi in exposing youth to democratic processes across the globe and expressed the hope that NEHU and Northeastern region shall be able to make the best of such cultural exchanges.
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In his response, Purav Kumar Bhailal Panchal, an Indian origin Swiss citizen and educationist wanted to know about NEHU’s curriculum in Educational Sciences and sought collaboration in educational research from the Government of India and the Government of Switzerland.
Some of the foreign delegates wanted to know NEHU’s facilities on studying music and performance, to which Prof. Desmond Kharmawphlang responded positively and implored the interested foreign students to join NEHU’s programmes of study.
Prof. Prasenjit Biswas, on behalf of Office of International Affairs, thanked the delegates from eight countries and impressed upon them NEHU’s advantage in the highest standard of research and learning at very low cost and invited students and researchers from Latin America, Africa, Europe to join NEHU in large numbers.
The visiting team left for Mawsynram and Sohra (Meghalaya) after completion of their visit to NEHU.