“Geopolitics and geo-economics are always very dynamic. It is very important for academics to study these changing processes and help the policy makers in crafting policies to ensure peace and development”, stated H.E. Mr. Vikram K Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh at the inauguration of the Certificate Course on ‘Geopolitics of Peace, Pandemic and Development’ on 18 December, 2021. This course has been jointly organized by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG) at North South University (NSU) and the Nehginpao Kipgen Center for Southeast Asian Studies at O.P. Jindal Global University, India. This 12-week virtual course consists of interactive discussions, field visits and in-class exercises.
At the inauguration program, the Chief Guest was the acting Foreign Secretary, Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md Khurshed Alam, Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. H.E. Mr. Vikram K Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh was the Special Guest. The session was chaired by Professor Atiqul Islam, Vice Chancellor of North South University.
During his inaugural address, the acting Foreign Secretary, Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md Khurshed Alam expressed how geopolitics is paving the way for a major change in the global power structure. According to him, avoiding conflicts in the long term will require conscious effort broadly transforming the governance, economic and security structure for common goods globally. He hopes for a knowledge based society with reduced social gaps that will accelerate development leaving no one behind.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Atiqul Islam mentioned the importance of this course in identifying policy options for effectively addressing the challenges of peace and development for Asia and beyond. He believes the course is important for people who are engaged, concerned, and related to international issues. Professor Sk. Tawfique Haque, the Director of the Centre for Peace Studies, in his introductory remarks pointed out how this course aims to enhance understanding of peace, development and related ideas in the current geopolitical context in a post pandemic world. Professor Sridhar Patnaik, Registrar, OP Jindal Global University, India hopes that through the multifaceted topics of this course, both the participants and the resource persons can learn more about geopolitics.
Ambassador Shahidul Haque, Professorial Fellow at SIPG, NSU and Former Foreign Secretary, Government of Bangladesh is the Course Advisor. Parisa Shakur, Senior Lecturer of Economics at North South University is the coordinator. Upon receiving 61 applications from 16 countries, the course has been offered to 15 participants from 9 nations after a rigorous selection process. These participants represent the world of NGO, journalism, academia, think tanks and the government sector. Faculty members from North South University and O.P Jindal Global University, specialists from International Organizations and government officials are the resource persons in this course.