Unfazed by Protests, Global Education Meet Begins in Thiruvananthapuram

The formal inaugural session was scrapped as the CM and Edn Minister did not turn up, owing to the protests.

Published: 30th January 2016 04:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2016 04:06 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though marred by violent protests by SFI activists, the two-day Global Education Meet (GEM) - aimed at expanding international cooperation in the state’s higher education sector - began in the capital on Friday.

The meet, which was slated to begin at 9.30 am, could start only at 11.30 am when the protests outside the venue in Kovalam subsided. The formal inaugural session was scrapped as Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb did not turn up, owing to the protests. Vice-chairman of Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC), T P Sreenivasan, who was manhandled by SFI workers earlier in the day, remained unfazed during the meeting. The SFI workers were protesting against the alleged ‘commercialisation of education’ which they claimed would be facilitated through meetings such as GEM.

Stating that ‘internationalisation of education’ was not a new phenomenon,, Sreenivasan opined that India could not play its role in global affairs if it did not have an educational system that matched the best in the world. 

William G Tierney, Professor of the University of Southern California, inaugurated the meeting in the absence of the chief minister. In his inaugural address, Tierney said that globalisation had greatly influenced education and research across the world.

He noted that public-private partnership in education projects was a time-consuming process. He also added that transparency and clarity should be ensured in regulations that governed educational projects.

The first session was on ‘International Cooperation - The Global Scenario and Prospects for Kerala’. Prof N R Madhava Menon, Chancellor of National University of Educational Planning and Administration, spoke during the session.  The other sessions on the inaugural day were on ‘International Cooperation - Models of Engagement in Higher Education’ and ‘FICCI Vision 2030 of Higher Education In Kerala’.  The key speakers on day one of the meeting were: Utpal Ghosh, president, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Sabu S Padmadas, professor, University of Southampton, UK; Paul Fernandez S J, Vice-Chancellor, Xavier University of Hyderabad; Khadar Mangad, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kannur, and Muralee Thummarkkudy from the United Nations.

Rajan Saxena, Vice-Chancellor of NMIMS University, Suchindra Kumar, Director, Ernst and Young, C Raj Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, O P Jindal Global University, P Venkat Ragan, Vice-Chancellor, Amrita University, and Shobha Mishra Ghosh, Senior Director of FICCI, also participated in the sessions.

The meeting will end on Saturday. The concluding session is expected to discuss and adopt the ‘Kovalam Declaration on Making Kerala a Hub for International Higher Education’.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp