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Re-imagining Education, Innovation and Sustainability in the Himalayas

Posted on: March 31, 2021 | Back | Print



On 28 March 2021, the Embassy of India together with India-Nepal Alumni Network Sampark hosted a programme centered on the theme of “Re-imagining Education, Innovation and Sustainability in the Himalayas”.

 The highlight of the evening was a conversation with Shri Sonam Wangchuk, well-known Indian engineer, inventor and educator whose pioneering work in these domains in the Indian Union Territory of Ladakh has earned him worldwide acclaim.

 Shri Wangchuk is visiting Nepal to participate in a series of events focused on promoting skills and innovations suited to local requirements, especially in the Himalayan communities. 

Engaging Shri Wangchuk in the conversation was Kathmandu-based author and publisher Shri Kanak Mani Dixit who has written extensively on some of these subjects.

 The genesis of this conversation lies in the realization that the Himalayas – occupying a pride of place among the things that connect India and Nepal – are increasingly under stress, and so are the communities that they support.

 In his opening remarks, the Ambassador of India H.E. Shri Vinay Mohan Kwatra underlined that the Himalayas and the ecosystems sustained by them have nurtured our civilization for millennia, and our cultures, ways of life and economic future remain linked to them. He noted that as climate change intensifies and ecosystems come under stress, so does the subcontinent’s future. Any solutions to sustainability, therefore, must entail working together across boundaries.

 Ambassador also proposed that the problem of sustainability not be looked at in isolation. It is inherently linked with education and entrepreneurship, and with youth. As we aim at making our development greener, more equitable and more sustainable, we must therefore turn towards our youth, our educators and our innovators to provide much needed answers.

 This conversation on re-imagining education, entrepreneurship and sustainability was thus aimed at identifying common challenges and finding ways to tackle them by learning from each other’s’ experience and by making our youth a part of the solution.

 Shri Wangchuk shared many of his experiences, particularly in irrigation, rural education and clean energy, and highlighted the need for communities – whether in the Himalayas or elsewhere – to generate their own solutions and educate their children in a manner that does not alienate them from their own heritage and traditional wisdom.

 The event was attended by a number of young entrepreneurs, educators, academics, environmentalists and eminent persons in the area of sustainability. Several media-persons were also present. Also participating were some of the eminent Nepalese alumni of Indian educational institutions who are part of Sampark – the India-Nepal Alumni Network, a flagship initiative to connect the Nepalese who received their education in India.

 The event also marks the beginning of celebrations of India@75. As independent India completes 75 years of its existence, these events that will go on until August 2023 showcase what it means for our friends and neighbors such as Nepal and how we have a stake in each other’s development.

 The conversation took place in English and Nepali and lasted for about one hour. It was followed by a lively interactive session with the audience.


March 31st, 2021

Embassy of India



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