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Aligarh, June 26: In the series of events and programmes celebrating India’s G20 Presidency, the Sir Syed Academy, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) organized a symposium wherein speakers delineated the major theme and concerns of G20 forum and the role of India in taking up the issues of the local and global concern on behalf of the developing countries. An introductory book in Urdu entitled “G20 –Ek Taaruf” by Dr Asad Faisal Farooqui was also released on the occasion for raising awareness about G20 and relevance of India’s Presidency.

Presiding over the symposium, Prof Mohammad Gulrez, Vice Chancellor, AMU said that G20 gives access to developing and developed countries to come together and devise pragmatic strategies to work on sustainability, climate change, food security, conflict resolution and other issues faced by the world. “We have to make a pledge for posterity and promote dialogues among nations for solving problems faced by humanity and resolving disputes among nations”, Prof Gulrez urged.

He said that India is home to philosophies that emphasise brotherhood and co-existence and the theme of the G20 Summit is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which means the entire world is truly just one family.

Prof Gulrez also mentioned the thesis of ‘clash of civilizations’ propounded by Hutington in 1993, calling it a dangerous philosophy. “The concerns of the world are the same for every country and nation and dialogue is the only way out for reaching mutually beneficial conclusions” he emphasized.

The Chief Guest of the symposium, Prof Aquil Ahmad, Director, NCPUL, New Delhi said that India’s rich philosophy offers solutions to the problems of mankind. “The world is facing problems including climate change, poverty, depletion of resources and war etc., and India can play a role in resolving them”, he said.

Prof Ahmad described the relevance of the theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” in detail and what it means for the word.

The Guest of Honour, Mr. Mohammad Imran IPS, Registrar, AMU spoke about the need to contribute for the success of the programmes like Mission LiFE, Swachh Bharat Mission etc. and briefed about the activities undertaken by the university including organizing awareness marches, safeguarding water bodies and plantation drives.

“India’s G20 Presidency is an opportunity for us to take a start on mission mode and collaborate with G20 on learning and topics of mutual interest”, AMU Registrar said.

Speaking on the theme, Prof Mohammad Asim Siddiqui, Chairman, Department of English, AMU said, India has strong soft power, which includes art, literature, philosophy and culture. This soft power can exert great influence and shape the world order in different ways. He mentioned several thinkers and philosophers who have influenced the world. “Social sciences and literature offer important perspectives to question things and generate a new thinking which leads us to go beyond our narrow concerns”, he added.

Prof Mohibul Haq, Department of Political Science, AMU pointed out that India’s G20 Presidency is a moment of pride for us and there is a lot of hope since India can speak for the global south on issues like poverty and hunger. He critically analysed various dimensions of G20 and how capitalism, and neoliberalism are shaping the world order.

“In the backdrop of the struggle for power and dominance, India through G20 is trying to highlight that cooperation is the key and peace has to travel beyond the Middle East and Latin America” he said.

Prof Haq also praised India’s foreign policy by mentioning that India did not abandon Russia when NATO imposed sanctions on it in the wake of Ukraine invasion.

Highlighting the usefulness of the monograph on G20 in Urdu, Prof Shafey Kidwai, Department of Mass Communication, AMU said that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of AMU launched Aligarh Institute Gazette in 1866 and wrote on international relations, the ideas of John Stuart Mill, an influential English philosopher of the nineteenth century and other such topics. “The publication of an Urdu monograph on G20 is the continuation of the tradition started by Sir Syed for enlightening oriental languages readers”, he said.

Prof Razaullah Khan, former Principal, ZHCET, AMU added a note of caution saying that G20 should not remain a club of rich and powerful countries. “Instead, the focus should be on raising the concerns of the poor countries which remain under-represented in the international forums and have no say on issues related to their livelihood and exploitation of natural resources”, he said, urging to maintain equilibrium and balance on earth and utilization of resources.

Earlier, welcoming the guests and speakers, Prof Ali Mohammad Naqvi, Director, Sir Syed Academy said that 80 percent of the world economy is rotated through G20 countries. “Today the economic power has more value and weight as the world is becoming multipolar and the monopoly of traditional powers is withering away. In this context G20 is a big forum for international cooperation and collaborations”, Prof Naqvi highlighted.

He informed that in the series of 5 monographs on G20, the first monograph by Asad Faisal Farooqui is being released today.

Proposing a vote of thanks, Dr. Mohammad Shahid, Deputy Director, Sir Syed Academy said that ‘G20 – Sir Syed Memorial Lecture’ and an international seminar on G20 will be organized in the month of July and August 2023 respectively.

Dr Syed Hussain Haider conducted the proceedings.

Read more: https://www.amu.ac.in/news/2023/6/26/symposium-on-g20-organised-at-amu

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