New Delhi: South Asian University conducted its maiden convocation at Vigyan Bhawan here. The occasion was presided over by Mr. Kamal Thapa, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nepal while General VK Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India was the Chief Guest.
A total of 652 students were conferred Master’s Degree in various programmes that include Applied Mathematics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Development Economics, International Relations, Legal Studies and Sociology and two scholars were conferred MPhil Degree. 30 programme toppers were honoured with the SAU Gold Medal. Students from all the eight SAARC countries were present at the convocation.
In his speech, Mr. Kamal Thapa stressed upon the role the university is playing in bringing better understanding in the South Asian region. He further said South Asia as a region is gaining importance in the world with the shared prosperity the region is experiencing, backed by the economic growth of India. He said it is the responsibility of India to take it forward.
Mandated to inculcate a sense of regional consciousness among the young minds of the South Asian region while imparting cutting-edge knowledge, South Asian University was established by the governments of the eight SAARC nations. The university took off in 2010 with two Master’s Degree Programmes. Today, SAU offers seven Master’s and an equal number of doctoral programmes.
General VK Singh talked about the commonality the countries of the region share – history, geography, culture, aspirations and even challenges. He also spoke about the importance of co-operation in education to collectively fulfil the objectives set out for the region.
General VK Singh suggested all the students to keep their friendship alive as they are the future of the region and their friendship will go a long way in bringing about prosperity in the region, a view also shared by Mr. Kamal Thapa.
As expressed by Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India in the 2014 Nepal Summit of SAARC and in line with the directives of the Governing Board, South Asian University has entered into partnerships with numerous universities in the South Asian region, informed Dr. Kavita A. Sharma, the President of SAU in her speech. She also informed the gathering that included Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the SAARC nations, about the soon-to-be established Institute of South Asian Studies, an inter-disciplinary research institute which will undertake research on issues of common interest in the region.
The construction of the permanent campus of the South Asian University commenced recently in Maidan Garhi in New Delhi. General VK Singh re-iterated India’s commitment to bear the entire capital cost to set up the campus. Most of the gold medal winners in the convocation today are girls, he observed.