The G20 Universities Impact Summit: Implementing SDGs and Beyond was jointly organized by O.P. Jindal Global University, the Association of Indian Universities, and the Times Higher Education of the United Kingdom on August 23rd in New Delhi. The event brought together academics, policymakers, and thought leaders to discuss and deliberate on the implementation and impact of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Higher Education sector. This summit provided a unique preview of the forthcoming G20 deliberations to be held in New Delhi, involving leaders from G20 nations.
The inaugural address for the G20 Universities Impact Summit was delivered by Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Hon’ble Minister of State for Education, Government of India. He emphasized the significance of SDGs in India’s National Education Policy and released the Times Higher Education Report titled “Higher Education’s role in advancing the SDGs in the G20: progress and opportunities.” The report launch was attended by Mr. Phil Baty, Chief Global Affairs Officer, and Mr. Duncan Ross, Chief Data Officer, both representing Times Higher Education, United Kingdom.
Dr. Subhas Sarkar stated, “Providing universal access to quality education is key to India’s growth in terms of economic prosperity, scientific advancement, national integration, and sustainable development. Our National Education Policy aligns with UN SDG 4, emphasizing education as the foundation for achieving other SDGs.”
Shri V. Muraleedharan, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, highlighted the relationship between SDGs and education in his presidential address. He urged schools and universities to align academic and professional goals with the world’s SDGs, fostering global citizens concerned about both personal development and planetary well-being.
Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University, welcomed participants, emphasizing the role of universities in implementing SDGs and enhancing social consciousness.
Mr. Phil Baty released the Times Higher Education Report, highlighting the broader impact of higher education institutions beyond SDG 4. He stressed that the G20 nations collectively wield significant political and economic power, making their contribution to addressing SDGs crucial.
Professor (Dr.) Mohan Kumar, Dean & Director, Jindal Global Centre for G20 Studies, discussed the upcoming UN SDGs Report 2023 and its implications for global sustainability efforts.
Mr. Duncan Ross, Chief Data Officer, Times Higher Education, underscored higher education institutions’ role in advancing SDGs and accelerating sustainability efforts.
Dr. (Mrs.) Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities, highlighted the importance of universities in strengthening India’s SDG implementation.
The summit included sessions on various topics, including the role of universities in advancing SDGs across G20 nations, higher education’s progress and opportunities in advancing SDGs, envisioning the future of global sustainability, and science for sustainability and society.
The summit concluded with a valedictory address by Professor (Dr.) Virander S. Chauhan, Former Chairman University Grants Commission (UGC), India, on the theme of science for sustainability and society.
The event wrapped up with a vote of thanks by Professor Padmanabha Ramanujam, Dean, Office of Academic Governance & Student Life, O.P. Jindal Global University.