The Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumarhas been felicitated with the Global Education Leaders Award at the recently held India-UAE Partnership Summit 2018 (IUPS)in Dubai, UAE. The award was presented as a part of the IUPS Excellence Awards 2018,where Professor Raj Kumar was recognised for his exemplary contributions to research, innovation and institution building in higher education.
Professor Kumar received the award from the UAE Cabinet Minister of Tolerance, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan and Mr Navdeep Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE.A Rhodes scholar who has studied at Oxford and Harvard, Prof. Kumar became the Founding Vice Chancellor of JGU at the age of 34 in 2009. Under his leadership, JGU has grown into a multidisciplinary and research-oriented university with eight different schools relating to law, business, international affairs, government & public policy, liberal arts & humanities, journalism & communication, art & architecture and banking & finance. This year, JGU was conferred with the status “autonomy” by the Ministry of Human Resource, Government of India and is one of only two private universities among the 52 universities, which have been given autonomy. It is notable that JGU is the youngest Indian university to have broken into the QS BRICS University Rankings 2019 and QS Asia University Rankings 2019.
On receiving the award, Prof. Kumar said, “I am truly humbled that the exemplary achievements of JGU has been truly recognised in the international arena. I have received this award on behalf of the faculty, students and staff of JGU as it is they who have enabled us to reach where we are today. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the visionary leadership of our benefactor and founding Chancellor, Mr. Naveen Jindal whose generous philanthropy established JGU a decade ago in memory of his father, Shri O.P. Jindal. Chancellor Jindal, through his farsightedness and generosity has built a global university in India to provide world-class education, while making immense contributions to knowledge creation and research. This act of institution building that Chancellor Naveen Jindal has promoted in India is the finest example of inspired leadership, corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy, that is worth emulating.”
Professor Raj Kumar was also a key speaker at the summit where he spoke on three different thematic sessions: “Global Leaders Vision 2025: India – UAE Education Partnership”; “Creating Institutions of Global Eminence” and “Scope of Research-Innovation-Collaboration in Education between India and UAE”.Professor Kumar highlighted the expansion of the Indian higher education sector and how it is being developed through the five critical initiatives that focusses on providing autonomy to universities; internationalisation and global engagement; research excellence and publications; role of the pubic and private sector; and holistic regulatory reforms.
Professor Kumar observed that: “India is a young nation that has a significant demographic dividend and is now empowering its universities to build a knowledge society. There is enormous potential for partnerships between UAE and India. The fulcrum around which these partnerships can be built are research, student and faculty mobility, dual degree programmes, and immersion programmes in both the countries. The Indian diaspora in the UAE can play a significant role in leading these efforts to build strong and substantive partnerships between universities in India and the UAE.”
In the session on creating institutions of eminence, Professor Kumar observed, “The rankings of universities play a pivotal role in enabling institutions to assess themselves as to where they stand, but the mission of the universities should be defined by their own aspirations and commitment to promote excellence. Indian universities have begun to recognise the importance of international rankings and many of them are breaking into the world rankings. I believe this trend will continue in the future, but for it to be sustainable, Indian universities need to focus on five critical aspects that are essential for promoting excellence in institution building: recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty; developing innovative pedagogies that will impart good education to students through effective teaching methods, including experiential learning; producing world-class research and faculty publications in the most reputed journals of the world; building partnerships and collaborations among the leading universities around the world that will impact the life of students and faculty in a university; and promoting community initiatives that will contribute to social impact”.
The two-day summit was attended by over 400 Delegates from India and the UAE comprising of prominent Education Leaders, Vice Chancellors, Academicians, School Principals, Edupreneurs and EdTech Startups who deliberated on the need to develop multifaceted investment relationship in the field of education between India and UAE through sustained efforts by constantly engaging key stakeholders, government authorities and investors.
India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) is an event specifically designed for the promotion of investments from UAE to India and India to UAE. The focus sectors for IUPS 2018 were investments in ‘Education’ and ‘SME & Skill Development’.
IUPS is an official event hosted by Business Leaders Forum (a unit of India Trade & Exhibition Centre) in association with Education Sector Partner ‘Affairs Education Advisory & Consulting’ and Indian Embassy-Abu Dhabi & Consulate General of India-Dubai and UAE Ministry of Economy are the strategic partners.
The Summit was aimed at creating synergies and frameworks for strengthening and streamlining the flow of two-way investments between India and UAE along with exploring avenues for Academic Collaboration and Investments in Education sector. Thought provoking insights, great amount of deliberations and wide education networks was the highlight of the IUPS Summit. Invest in Sharjah and Ras-Al- Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) presented the opportunities for investment and education partnerships in UAE.