Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ chaired the meeting of the Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO (INCCU) in New Delhi today. Minister of State for HRD Shri Sanjay Dhotre was also present at the meeting. The Representative of India to the Executive Board of UNESCO, Shri J.S Rajput, Secretary HRD cum Secretary General of INCCU, Shri Amit Khare, members of the INCCU and senior officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.
The membership of National Commission consists of members of five Sub Commissions namely, Sub Commission for (i) Education (ii) Natural Sciences (iii) Social Sciences (iv) Communication (v) Culture. The members of the Sub Commissions briefed the chair about the activities carried out by their respective Sub Commissions.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Pokhriyal said that the reconstituted National Commission has met for the first time today and let this be the first of many such regular and meaningful interactions that will help build India’s stature and position across countries. He added that the National Commission can play a powerful role in coordinating the activities that are being carried out by the institutions under each of the five sub commissions so that India’s efforts and achievements get due support, acknowledgement and recognition across countries. Our work needs to be projected more at the international level, so that we can contribute more to towards fulfilment of the objectives of UNESCO while also strengthening India’s image globally.
The Union Minister said that India is one of the founding members of UNESCO and has always played an active role in promoting its ideals and objectives in the fields of education, culture, communication, natural sciences and social and human sciences. He added that the Government of India is fully committed to the attainment of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and every Ministry is making huge efforts in this direction.
Shri Pokhriyal further highlighted that in the field of education, India is working to further UNESCO’s objective of making quality education available to everyone. Many steps have been taken to improve the access, equity and quality of education. A New Education Policy is on the anvil, which has been formulated after the largest ever process of consultation with stakeholders.
The Minister further said that in the culture sector, UNESCO’s programmes aim to promote, preserve and safeguard cultural heritage and spread respect for all cultures. India has an unparalleled heritage – both tangible and intangible. He added that the Ministry of Culture and the institutions under it are working to preserve the tangible and intangible heritage of the country.
He also said that India has been playing a very positive role in the field of Science by promoting scientific programmes and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. He further said that India also supports UNESCO’s works towards freedom of expression, which is a key condition for democracy and development, as also its objectives in the field of social sciences.
Shri Pokhriyal said that to showcase the good work we are doing and get better representation for India, we need our National Commission to be stronger and more active. He suggested the five Sub Commissions to meet regularly on their own to discuss the work they are doing and identify the challenges they are facing. They should inform National Commission of all developments in their respective sectors for proper coordination. The Minster hoped that the National Commission will identify and take up issues in India’s interest with the UNESCO Headquarters through the Permanent Representative of India.
While addressing the meeting Shri Dhotre said that India has always played an active role in promoting its ideals and objectives in the fields of education, culture, communication, natural sciences & social and human sciences. He highlighted that the concerned ministries of the government are making consistent efforts towards fulfilment of UNESCO’s objectives and attainment of 2030 sustainable development goals in their respective sectors. He added that the Indian National Commission and its five sub commissions can play a vital role in coordinating and highlighting the work being done by India in support of UNESCO’s objectives.
The Director General of UNESCO Ms Audrey Azoulay will be visiting India from 4th to 7th of next month.