New Delhi, Oct. 10: Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, the 1st woman President of Tanzania, was conferred an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) by Jawaharlal Nehru University for her pivotal role in fostering stronger India-Tanzania relations, promoting economic diplomacy, and achieving success in regional integration and multilateralism.
Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan; Minister of External Affairs Dr. S Jaishankar; and Minister of State for Education, Annapurna Devi graced the event. Chancellor of JNU, Shri Kanwal Sibal, Vice Chancellor of JNU, Prof. Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, delegation from Tanzania, Heads of 15 African Missions, dignitaries, educationists, Tanzanian students studying in India and senior officials of the Ministries also attended the event.
While addressing on the occasion, Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, acknowledged herself as a "product of Indian education", attributing it to her ITEC training at NIRD, Hyderabad. She was humbled by the profound recognition bestowed upon her as it is the first to be awarded to her by a foreign university.
She said that not just the beauty of its landscape, but also the generosity, and the kindness of its people, makes India, “Incredible India”. India is an extended family member simply separated by a coastline, a strategic ally, a dependable partner and a friend for all seasons, she added. India has remained truthful and loyal to the cause of the Global South and the developing countries, she highlighted. She appreciated the fact that India has continued to uphold the importance of multilateralism, and valuing society over market (people over profit).
She extended her deepest gratitude to the esteemed institution for the privilege of conferment of the Honorary Doctorate. She remarked that she accepted the Honoris Causa, not as a culmination of her efforts, but as a reaffirmation of the boundless potential that hard work, dedication and selflessness holds for us all. She also said that another area of convergence for Indo-Africa partnership is the noble fight for a just and Green Energy transition. In a candid note, she expressed her fondness for the Indian charm, including Indian cuisine, music, films etc.
Pradhan congratulated Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan on her felicitation, which recognises her long-standing efforts in enhancing bilateral cooperation between India and Tanzania. He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for working tirelessly to include the African Union as part of G-20. In his address, Pradhan expressed his happiness that the first offshore campus of any IIT is being set up in Zanzibar, and the campus is scheduled to be inaugurated early November this year. He remarked that the institute will prove to be a milestone in educational cooperation between the two nations and continents, by providing students from Tanzania and other African countries with the access to world-class engineering and technology education.
He mentioned that the support of Tanzania, a key African partner of India, is needed to amplify the aspirations of the Global South, especially on education and human resource development. Skill-focused and market-aligned higher education are to be delivered to the youth of both the countries in a collaborative manner, he added.
The Minister highlighted that India has a vibrant higher education ecosystem with 55000 institutions, 42 million students and 1.6 million teachers, which needs to be further, strengthened with aspirational NEP 2020 that is bringing transformative reforms. Access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability are the foundational pillars for creating responsible global citizens, he added. Great strides have been made in developing Digital Public Infrastructure for the education system, he mentioned.
While speaking at the event Dr. Jaishankar mentioned that conferment of an educational honour to H.E. Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan recognizes the long association and friendship she has with India. Education and capacity building are important facets of the bilateral ties between the two countries, he added. Under the ITEC programme over 5000 Tanzanian nationals have already been trained in Indian educational institutions, he also mentioned.
He further said that Tanzania is the preferred destination to set up the first overseas IIT at Zanzibar. The institute has the potential to become a premiere centre for technical education for the entire African continent, Dr. Jaishankar mentioned. The inclusion of the African Union in the G20 as a full member was one of the highest successes of the Indian Presidency, Dr. Jaishankar added. The rise of Africa is central to global rebalancing and the support of India towards that is unstinted, he commented.
Highlighting the significant milestone that India achieved during the G20 Summit and the New Delhi declaration, Prof. Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit mentioned it is a testament to India’s exceptional abilities to table ideas, shape global issues, bridge divides, and forge a consensus. She also mentioned that JNU has a Centre for African Studies that began in 1969, which in 2009 became a specialized centre and the Nelson Mandela Chair, established by the Ministry of External Affairs.