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Jamia Millia students attend global student summit in South Africa

By TwoCircles.net News Desk,

New Delhi: Three students of India’s central university Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi attended the International Student Summit held at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa from 24-26 September.

The Outreach Programme of Jamia Millia Islamia had sent the students. This was the first time that Jamia had sent an official team to such an international event. The three students were Soheb Ur Rahman Niazi (BA Pol Sc), Omair Khalid Siddiqui (BBS) and Sadiya Ozair (MBA). The Youth Summit Plenary of India Brazil South Africa (IBSA) group was held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

The IBSA dialogue forum was institutionalized in 2003, when the Head of States of the three countries – India, Brazil, South Africa – signed an agreement to cooperate with each other, specifically in the fields of trade, agriculture, science and technology, health, energy and education. “The IBSA Dialogue Forum has presented the international community a model for further south-south cooperation, and is largely a response to previous imbalances within the international system under traditional north-south relations,” said Rakhshanda Jalil, Director, Media & Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia.

The purpose of the Plenary on 24-26 September at the University of the Witwatersrand was to inaugurate the Model IBSA Summit and plan for the Youth Summit in South Africa in 2010, and to devise a strategy for the engagement and inclusion of young people in the IBSA programme. The Summit was a three day event that consisted of an opening ceremony on the evening of the 24th, followed by two days of discussions on the main issues that were discussed under the theme: The Future of South-South Cooperation: Voices from the Next Generation.

The Summit was declared open by the Chairman of the Model IBSA summit on the evening of 24th September. After the introductory and keynote address, delegates and representatives of different countries were divided into three working groups for the discussion and debates on the following two days. The working groups were divided into three broad categories with subsequent sub – themes:

i) Economic Development: Trade, Energy and Agriculture

ii) Social Development: Culture, Education and Health

iii) Science and Technology Development: Tourism, Transport, Information Society and Science and Technology.

All the three students from Jamia Millia Islamia were divided in each of the groups – Soheb Ur Rahman Niazi, Omair Khalid Siddiqui and Sadiya Ozair, were in the first, second and third groups respectively.

Each working group had an expert speaker, who gave a professional point of view of the issue to be discussed. Each working group also had a Chairperson to conduct the working of each group. Delegates from each country represented the point of view of their own country on issues of foreign policy and their position on various aspects of IBSA.

It was felt by one and all, that India should take the lead in the future and organize a similar event on its campus. The three students were accompanied by Dr Simi Malhotra, from the Dept of English, JMI, and a member of the Outreach Programme, JMI.