The founding Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University, Prof Mahendra P Lama has been invited by the globally eminent Yale University in the USA for an exclusive lecture on the evolution of Sikkim University. Recognizing the pivotal role Sikkim University is envisioned to play in Sikkim and the entire Eastern Himalayan region in very near future and also the robust shape the University has acquired just in course of last 58 months, Prof Lama has been invited to deliver a lecture on “Establishing Sikkim University : Challenges, Successes and Future Prospects”. The lecture to be held on 25th April 2012 is hosted by South Asian Studies Council and Yale Himalaya Initiative in Yale University. The lecture announcement has been widely circulated by the Yale University. This will be for the 8th time Prof Lama has been invited abroad by coveted institutions to share his team’s experience in the building of this unique University in Sikkim.
Prof Lama will also be chairing the Session on “ Reactions and Responses from State and Society” in the international symposium on “Prosperity amidst Poverty and Inequality in India and China” organized by the prestigious New School University in New York.
This symposium will be addressed by a cross section of widely acclaimed academics, civil society members, media persons, policy makers and private sector actors from India, China and the USA. The theme of the symposium is based on the following premise.
Over the last decade a variety of scholars have sought to describe, explain and assess the striking new phenomenon of prosperity amidst poverty and inequality in India and China. Three decades of sustained economic reform has generated, in varying degrees, very high rates of aggregate economic growth, structural diversification and technological change in both countries.
The growing significance of India and China in the global political economy attests to the impact of these powerful new developments. Yet these patterns of accumulation have also simultaneously exacerbated old social, sectoral and spatial inequalities and created new human deprivations. Fierce popular struggles over access to basic social opportunities – such as education, health, employment – as well as critical material assets – in particular land, housing and water – have arisen as a result.
Moreover, increasingly entrenched corruption has accompanied the process of dynamic economic growth in both countries, creating widespread demands for greater moral integrity, political accountability and social justice. Hence in recent years the national governments of India and China have enacted a series of policies, measures and reforms – in India most prominently manifested through a series of legislation that uses the language of ‘rights’, and in China ostensibly towards the goal of creating a ‘harmonious society’ – that seek to expand the social opportunities and economic security of their most vulnerable citizens.
The aim of the symposium is to promote an engaged multidisciplinary dialogue regarding the causes, character and consequences of these cumulative transformations. We propose to engage the following nested questions.