The UNESCO Chair’s Knowledge for Change (K4C) initiative witnessed a grand launch on November 13, 2017 at the National University of Educational Planning & Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi. The launch event witnessed over fifty participants joining the event, which was conducted from 3 PM to 5 PM. The inaugural address was delivered by Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO New Delhi, who congratulated the Chair for starting such a path-breaking initiative for training next generation researchers in community-based research, and also compliment the chair as being ‘the most important and active chair in the world’. He also committed the full support of UNESCO to the K4C initiative.
One of the key speakers at the event were Dr S K Pandey, Vice-Chancellor, Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla University, who emphasized the importance of universities being connected to the society, to remain relevant in the future and said that community based research is an important tool to ensure this happens. Further, K4C hub coordinators from Italy (Dr Andrea Vargiu, University of Sassari), South Africa (Dr Darren Brendan Lortan), India (Dr Manju Singh from Manipal University, Jaipur and Dr Mousumi Mukherjee from Jindal Global University, Sonepat), Indonesia (Dr Abd’ Ala from UIN Sunam Ampel University, Surabaya) also reflected on how they found K4C useful and contributing to the functions of teaching, research and service of the university, and also its social responsibilities. Joining the launch event were also partners from UK, civil society practitioners from India, students, faculty etc.
The launch event closed with an address by Prof N V Varghese, Vice-Chancellor, NUEPA, who emphasized the importance of societal engagement in research for relevant knowledge creation and also ensuring social accountability of institutions in the process, along with its social responsibilities. He also shared that it is time we channel our energies towards efforts that can help us be ‘globally competitive & locally engaged’.
A detailed report on the launch event will be available soon.