Australia crucial in upskilling a youthful India

India's High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Mr Navdeep Suri, in conversation with Professor Bob Carr during his visit to UTS. Picture by Terry Clinton

India's High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Mr Navdeep Suri, in conversation with Professor Bob Carr. Picture by Terry Clinton

In summary: 
  • Now the world's fastest growing major economy, one of India's strengths and challenges is its youthful demographic according to High Commissioner to Australia Mr Navdeep Suri
  • Making his first visit to UTS recently, Mr Suri said collaborations with Australia would be crucial in upskilling and educating "this large mass of humanity"

India's youthful demographic can be counted as one driver of the county's economic future "if we get it right" according to India's High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Mr Navdeep Suri.

Making his first visit to UTS recently, Mr Suri shared his insights into India Australia relations, in particular the importance of collaborating with Australian universities such as UTS.

He discussed India's emergence as the world's fastest growing major economy, particularly at a time when a number of other important countries are "facing a mix of political and economic headwinds".

"In India, 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35, that's 800 million people," Mr Suri said. "For the next 20 years we will continue to have a youthful population at a time when China, Japan, Korea and other countries are increasingly going to see an ageing population.

"A lot will depend on us to upskill and educate this large mass of humanity and that's where collaborations with Australia can be so crucial."

UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said the university's engagement with India via partner institutions and the two-way of flow students was pivotal to the goal of being a globally connected university.

"UTS has a large and vibrant Indian student population," Professor Brungs said.  "Hundreds of UTS students have also visited India through our UTS BUiLD program, where students have engaged in engineering projects, social enterprise and social innovation programs."

UTS has also established strategic partnerships with universities in India through the UTS Key Technology Partnerships Program. Of the 15 flagship partnerships worldwide, five are in India, indicating the importance of India relations in the UTS global strategy and has enabled academic exchange and research collaboration.

"UTS has long supported activities in India by hosting and sponsoring significant events, supporting scholarship programs for Indian students, and has recently held IT competitions for Indian high school students," Professor Brungs said.
The visit was also attended by the Consul General of India Mr Vanlalvawna, President of the Hindu Council of Australia Professor Nihal Agar AM, Executive Director of International Operations Austrade Mr Grame Barty and National Chair of the Australia India Business Council, Mr Dipen Rughani.

The dignitaries, along with UTS senior executive, academic and professional staff working in India-related fields, were invited to hear the High Commissioner's views on India Australia relations in a discussion moderated by Professor Bob Carr, Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute.

Two international students from India, Arjun Gupta and Manmeet Singh Khetapal, also had a roundtable discussion with the High Commissioner and Consul General.

Arjun Gupta, who is a UTS Master of Business Administration student, said he was privileged to meet India's principal representatives in Australia.

"It was a great opportunity to be invited to attend and share my insights on international student life at UTS," Gupta said. "I have participated in a number of programs and activities at UTS, where I have had the chance to meet with other students from India and around the world."