Kovind invites Jamaicans to study at its universities
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind addresses a joint meeting of the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday. He called on Jamaican students to consider studying at Indian universities. (Photos: Joseph Wellington)

INDIAN President Ram Nath Kovind is urging Jamaican students to take advantage of the opportunity to enroll in some of its best universities, which are globally respected and significantly less expensive than western institutions.

Addressing a joint meeting of the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, the visiting constitutional head for the world’s largest democracy pointed out that under its new regional education policy, India is planning to start new institutes of technology abroad.

“The national education policy has also opened up in specialised technical courses in premier Indian universities and colleges for foreign students,” he said, noting that Jamaica is one of the first countries to express interest in hosting an Indian institute of technology.

He said India is poised to become a knowledge economy that creates, disseminates and utilises knowledge to promote growth and development.

Pictured in the House of Parliament is Indian President Ram Nath Kovind. Behind him are Speaker of the House, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert and President of the Senate Tom Tavares-Finson. The Indian president addressed a joint meeting of the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

“Today India and Indians are taking the lead in research and development in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and metaverse that form the basis of the whole industrial revolution,” he told senators, MPs, members of the diplomatic corps and other officials.

At the same time, Kovind said Jamaica is in a good position to become a knowledge highway, and to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He noted that the island’s strategic location near some of the largest global economies, and its talented pool of English-speaking youth.

He said India is prepared to partner with the island to share its technical knowledge and expertise which could transform the education sector and businesses. He pointed out that top local business already source software and technological support from Indian-based companies.

Furthermore, Rovind pointed to Jamaica’s dominance in premier international sporting events, relative to its population size.

“You will find India turning to you to learn lessons in sports and athletics, in music and entertainment, also in hospitality and tourism, there is a great scope for cooperation and mutual learning,” he said.

India’s president also said that as Jamaica and India observe 60 years of mutually beneficial diplomatic relations, the two countries should continue work together to convert shared ideas into practical cooperation and to create a more equitable world order.

Kovind said India’s abiding faith in the global ‘one family’ idea, is reflected in its values, pointing to the provision of medical assistance to more than 100 countries during the peak of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says India’s support with the provision of COVID-19 vaccines will be long remembered. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said India’s support with the provision of COVID-19 vaccines will be long remembered, as it was the first country to respond to Jamaica’s urgent call for vaccines.

He noted that Jamaica has also benefited from India’s know-how through programmes and scholarships to increase human capacity and improve knowledge base, as well as support towards community development.

He said India’s tangible support for Jamaica over the years are indicative of the South Asian country’s commitment to South-South cooperation. Holness said the Government is committed to deepening its relations with India and has done so with the establishment of a high commission in New Delhi, in September 2020, which he will personally open.Opposition Leader Mark Golding also pointed to India’s achievements, noting its leadership alongside countries like Jamaica in the international fight to end the apartheid system in South Africa, one of 19 African countries in the Commonwealth.“Jamaica has benefited and continues to benefit tremendously from friendly relations with India from which have sprung numerous bilateral partnerships, which have assisted in our national development and have crate opportunities for our people,” Golding stated. He commended India’s support for Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, and its commitment to fostering Commonwealth unity.Kovind’s four-day State visit ends today.As part of activities marking the leader’s visit, the Government on Monday renamed a section of Church Street and lower South Camp Road in downtown Kingston in honour of social reformer and the architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

Opposition Leader Mark Golding lauds the relationship between India, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations.
BY ALPHEA SUMNER Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

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