Kalam to sketch out India’s global role to British, Irish audiences

By Dipankar De Sarkar, IANS,

London : Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is to speak about India’s global role to key politicians, scientists and industrialists next week during a lecture tour of Britain and Ireland, including the British province of Northern Ireland, his tour organisers said Friday.

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Kalam, who is highly regarded internationally for his support to science and education, will speak to select audiences in London, Cambridge University, Belfast and Dublin and will be honoured by Queens University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin.

He will also receive the 2008 International Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, said Lord Diljit Rana, a prominent Indian-origin businessman and executive vice president of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO).

Kalam’s tour kicks off Thursday with a speech to a conference being jointly organised in London by the GOPIO and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Kalam will speak on ‘Is a New Global Order Emerging? The Potential Role of India’ to an audience that is expected to include Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, Indian-born economist Lord Meghnad Desai, FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra, HCL Technologies CEO Roshni Nadar, GOPIO Vice President Diljit and Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shanker Mukherjee.

The conference aims to engage ?a select community of business and political leaders? to strategise both about the economic vitality of Indian commerce and its long-term potential to boost global income and eradicate poverty in India, Rana said.

A special feature of the tour will be its focus on Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – politically distinct territories that are nevertheless seen as a single economic unit by their governments.

?I have been asking Dr Kalam to undertake this tour for a long time, so this visit is bound to give a boost to trade, education and business ties with India,? Rana, India’s honorary consul-general in Belfast and a leading property developer and hotelier in Northern Ireland, told IANS.

Kalam will also address students, leading academics and practitioners at Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.

?Dr Kalam will explain why in order to thrive in this turbulent world, corporations, as well as nations, need ‘creative leaders’, a new breed of visionary and empathetic leaders who act less as commanders and more as coaches, less as managers and more as facilitators,? the business school said.