JGU’s Sustainable Development Report 2024 released in Tokyo at India-Japan Higher Education Forum

Tokyo, June 24 (IANS) O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) released its Sustainable Development Report (SDR) 2024 in Tokyo, Japan, during the India-Japan Higher Education Forum on June 21.

Sibi George, Ambassador of India to Japan, who was present at the forum as a Chief Guest, officially released the report. This pivotal moment underscores the deepening relationship between India and Japan, particularly in the realms of education and sustainability.

The release coincides with JGU’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and international collaboration, especially through its engagement with leading Japanese universities. The SDR 2024 showcases JGU’s significant strides in incorporating sustainable practices across its campus and curricula, emphasising the university’s role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of JGU, stated, “We are delighted to have the global launch of JGU Sustainable Development Report 2024 in Japan to underscore the importance of India-Japan relations and to recognise the outstanding contributions of Japan in advancing SDGs and its national and international efforts to fulfil these goals. Our commitment to sustainability is integral to our educational philosophy. The SDR 2024 not only reflects our past accomplishments but also sets a dynamic pathway for future initiatives. It aligns closely with global sustainability trends and our aspirations to contribute positively to the global community. The international collaborations that we have built with 10 leading Japanese universities will also have a strong focus on issues relating to sustainability.”

Sibi George, Ambassador of India to Japan, highlighted universities’ pivotal role in fostering strong India-Japan relations, emphasizing collaboration and academic exchange. He mentioned the important role being played by JGU through its proactive leadership in forging substantive academic collaborations with Japanese universities, setting a commendable example for universities and institutions of both countries.

The Ambassador underscored the importance of such initiatives in deepening cultural understanding and promoting bilateral cooperation between India and Japan. He also mentioned, “We need to further increase and expand the higher education footprint in both the countries as the potential is immense and yet to be fully tapped.”

Over the past few months, JGU has formalised substantive partnerships with several leading Japanese universities, including the University of Yamanashi, Yamanashi Gakuin University, Hiroshima University, Ritsumeikan University, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Kansai Gakuin University, Kansai Gadai University and Ryukoku University.

During the India-Japan Higher Education Forum held in Tokyo, JGU also entered into a formal partnership with the International Christian University (ICU), Japan in the presence of its President, Professor (Dr.) Shoichiro Iwakiri by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration in the areas of higher education and research.

Further, other notable partnerships for JGU in Japan include revered universities such as the University of Tokyo which are also being finalised. These collaborations aim to enhance academic exchanges, joint research projects, and dual degree programmes, enriching the educational experience for students and faculty members from both countries.

The India-Japan Higher Education Forum also featured a panel discussion on the theme ‘Role of Universities in Fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals’, bringing together senior academics and bureaucrats from across Japan. The forum highlighted the critical role educational institutions play in addressing and achieving SDGs, with discussions led by distinguished panellists and chaired by Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar.

The other speakers in the forum were, Dr Sukehiro Hasegawa, Chair, the Japan Commission on Global Governance; Professor (Dr) Kaori Hayashi, Executive Vice President, University of Tokyo; Professor (Dr) Nobuo Haruna, Vice President for International Affairs, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies; Professor Tetsuo Morishita, Vice President, Global Academic Affairs, Sophia University; Professor (Dr) Robin Sakamoto, Dean, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Kyorin University. This session was moderated by Professor Vesselin Popovski.

“India and Japan share a profound connection through history and civilisational heritage that is rooted in mutual respect and aligned interests, particularly in education and sustainable development,” Vice Chancellor, Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar remarked during the forum. He further mentioned, “Our engagement with Japanese universities not only strengthens bilateral ties but also fosters a deeper understanding of sustainable practices and innovations in higher education and collaborative research.”

JGU’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its curriculum, campus initiatives, and international partnerships. The university has introduced several sustainability-centric courses and workshops designed in collaboration with its Japanese academic partners. These initiatives support the university’s green policies and encourage students to engage with global sustainability challenges.

Professor Padmanabha Ramanujam, Dean of Academic Governance, JGU, commented, “The release of the JGU’s SDR 2024 and the organisation of the India-Japan Higher Education Forum underscores JGU’s commitment to being at the forefront of global educational leadership and sustainability. As JGU continues to build on these foundations, it remains dedicated to fostering a sustainable future and enriching the academic landscape both in India and globally.”

“JGU’s work on the SDGs has earned the university global recognition. In the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2024, JGU was ranked for 10 SDGs. JGU stood second among all the Indian universities for SDG 16 which is about peace, justice and strong institutions. Globally, JGU was ranked among the world’s top 200 universities for SDG 12 and SDG 16 and among the top 400 for SDG 2, 5 and 6,” Professor Ramanujam added.

Professor (Dr) Akhil Bhardwaj, Associate Dean and Director, the Office of International Affairs & Global Initiatives at JGU, said, “Our collaboration with Japanese universities and institutions embodies our dedication towards creating a sustainable and interconnected academic world. Through these partnerships, we would offer our students and faculty a set of unique opportunities to engage with cutting-edge research and educational practices with leading Japanese universities and institutions.”

–IANS

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