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Event Reports

Young Scholar's Forum 2015

Young Scholar's Forum 2015


With the assistance of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), the Asian Confluence, India East Asia Center, Shillong organized a two-day national seminar: “Young Scholars Forum: India’s North Eastern States and Eastern Neighbors The Way Forward” on 5-6 December 2015 at the Asian Confluence Center, Shillong. The Young Scholars Forum has been designed to complement the “Act East Policy” of the Government of India by gathering together a select group of younger scholars from the North Eastern region of India under the umbrella of the ICWA - one of India’s premier think tanks. The forum can act as a platform for academic and policy dialogues to facilitate the following: i. A balanced voice from the region which can enhance closer understanding of the unique geographical, historical, environmental geopolitical, socio-political nuances of the North Eastern Region and act for overall development and prosperity of the region. ii. A better understanding of the relationship of India’s North Eastern Region, with the rest of the country by encouraging exchanges by younger academicians and scholars from the region with those from the rest of the India, thus bridging the psychological divide that exists. iii. A balanced, development-oriented Indian voice deeply rooted in the North East Region that can aid India’s engagement with her Eastern neighbors, drawing on the common cultural similarities, historical commonalities and geographical imperatives between the region and India’s Eastern neighbors. The ICWA – Asian Confluence Young Scholars was a concrete step to follow up on one of the ten points of the agenda called the “Shillong Consensus.” It had emerged out of the “Shillong Dialogue, “a major collaborative exercise between the ICWA and the Asian Confluence, held exactly a year ago, on 4 and 5 December 2014. The specific action point is given below: To ensure that the youth are the driving force in the operationalization of the Act East Policy, cross-border training and capacity building institutions in the form of a regional skill grid may be set up to undertake massive training programs, knowledge enhancing exercises and exposure meetings, skill development initiatives and entrepreneurial capacity building. The ICWA-Asian Confluence Young Scholars was well represented by young scholars from various institutions from the region and witnessed participation of a wide spectrum of senior policy makers, academics and institutional heads. It proved to be “a true confluence of the wisdom of the experienced and the curiosity of the youth, a blend of the past and the future”, as a participant put it. Well-researched presentations and stimulating exchanges were its key features.