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Maiden SAU convocation ceremony held
In a significant testimony of regional co-operation and unity, the South Asian University (SAU), an initiative of the eight South Asian countries, held its maiden convocation ceremony at Vigyan Bhawan on Saturday. In all, 652 students from five faculties — economics, legal studies, life sciences and biotechnology, mathematics and computer science, and social sciences —from the 2012 batch were conferred their master’s degree at the ceremony presided over by Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa while General VK Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India was the chief guest. 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, 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 which 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 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 the Thapa.
Kavita A Sharma, the president of the SAU in her speech 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 were girls, he added.
A total of 652 students were conferred Master’s Degree in various programmes that includes — Applied Mathematics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Development Economics, International Relations, Legal Studies and Sociology and two scholars were conferred M Phil Degree.
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