Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Speaker of Indian Parliament Hon. Shri Om Birla has called on Kenyan youths to embrace research and innovation saying this will be a great contribution to the country’s development.

Speaking when he visited the University of Nairobi on Tuesday 17th January, 2023 for an engagement forum with students and staff, the Speaker urged the Kenyan youth to emulate their counterparts in India for the progress of their nation.

“In the last 75 years of democratic ruling in India there have been many innovations and research, I am hoping that University of Nairobi students through their innovative ideas and research will also immensely contribute to the development of Kenya just like their counterparts in India have done,” Hon. Shri Om Birla said.

The Speaker noted that both India and Kenya have large young populations and was hopeful that students studying at the University of Nairobi will go ahead and provide solutions and technology that will not only provide solutions to Kenyan people, but also cut across the entire globe.

He heaped praise on the University of Nairobi alumni saying their presence is felt in every sphere of life where they are serving.

“This is the most prestigious university of Kenya and a very important university in East Africa. Its alumni have made their presence felt in different walks of life and serve Kenya with honour and excellence. They include the President H.E. William Ruto, Deputy President H.E Rigathi Gachagua, Parliament Speaker Moses Wetangula and the list is endless,” Hon. Shri Om Birla said.

He called on collaboration between the two governments especially in the education sector saying that Kenya

“There are a lot of Kenyan students who go to India to study, India has great institutions that have brought a lot of change and greatly impacted its growth. There is need for partnership to see these Indian institutions come to Kenya and empower the Kenyan youth with knowledge and skills that will see them take Kenya to the next frontiers,” Hon. Shri Om Birla said.

On his part, the University of Nairobi Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi said the University of Nairobi enjoys cordial relations with the government and the people of India.

“Your visit today further affirms this legacy of friendship and cooperation, which has been kept alive in various ways through the sustained effort of the Indian High Commission in Nairobi and various organizations and individuals from the Indian community.

“The University was delighted to host Prime Minister Rajendra Mody for a public lecture during his visit to Kenya in 2016. Some of the results of the university’s friendship with the government and people of India include the ultra-modern Mahatma Gandhi Graduate Library commissioned in 2021 by Dr S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India,” Dr. Rattansi said.

H.E. Namgya Khampa, High Commissioner of India to Kenya showed her excitement about the future Indian partnership with Kenya and the youth being the most important and critical shareholders that can strengthen and expand their partnerships.

On his part the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama the interest by the University of Nairobi to work with Indian institutions and create strong linkages and partnerships aimed at knowledge transfer.

“I wish to express our strong interest in working with institutions in India in the area of digital technology and renewable energy. I believe that we can take advantage of opportunities in these fertile areas in furtherance of our mutual interests.  It would be of considerable help to identify opportunities for scholarships, training, and industry placements for our students in Indian Tech companies and agencies given that India has become a global giant in ICT Industry,” Prof. Kiama said.

He appealed to the Indian government through the Speaker to consider supporting joint research ventures between the Kenyan universities through grant funding.

“The University of Nairobi boasts of a large pool of competent researchers and policy drivers in innovative research programs. We have demonstrated beyond doubt that we are capable of producing cutting edge, innovative, and impactful research. We therefore trust that partnerships with Indian universities and research agencies will be important in scaling up development in the Southern Hemisphere,” Prof. Kiama said.

The culmination of the event was a donation of 100 copies of electronic books of Mahatma Gandhi to the University of Nairobi. The Speaker also presented 75 books to signify the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. The books were received by the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi.