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Tanzania President Hassan Becomes First Woman to Be Conferred Honorary Doctorate by JNU – News18

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan was conferred an honorary doctorate by Jawaharlal Nehru University on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to be bestowed with the honour.

President Hassan arrived in India on a four-day visit on Sunday.

She has been awarded the honorary degree for her pivotal role in fostering stronger India-Tanzania relations, promoting economic diplomacy and achieving success in regional integration and multilateralism.

Hassan, the first woman president of Tanzania, went down memory lane to share her journey — from being born in a humble family in an African village to becoming the president of her country.

”The world says there is no midway in falling in love with India, be it an Indian song, an Indian movie, or Indian cuisine, it is very difficult to resist an Indian charm. I experienced it when I came to India for the first time in 1998 to study in Hyderabad,” she said in her acceptance speech.

”I stand here as a family member of Jawaharlal Nehru University and no more as a visiting guest. This is what makes India irresistible. This is what makes India the incredible India,” she added.

Hassan noted that India has always been a shoulder to lean on in the struggle against colonialism.

”In our struggle against colonialism, India has always been a shoulder to lean on. Together, we can be a formidable voice championing effective positive changes. This honour comes with responsibilities and expectations. My heart is beaming with gratitude by this profound recognition bestowed upon me by the great university. I extend my appreciation for deeming me worthy of this degree … my first by a foreign university,” she added.

The event was attended by Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar.

”Economic ties between our two countries have always been a strong pillar. Our trade relations with Tanzania date back several centuries, when traders from the western coast of India first travelled to east Africa along the maritime route for trade and commerce. Despite the global disruption and challenges posed by the (COVID-19) pandemic, our bilateral trade has witnessed strong growth from both sides,” Jaishankar said.

Education Minister Pradhan said India is implementing the new National Education Policy, the foundation of which is built on the pillars of access, equality, quality, affordability and accountability.

”Tanzania is a key African partner of India and we count on your support to amplify the aspirations of the Global South, especially on education and human resource development. Skill-focused and market-aligned higher education are to be delivered to the youths of both the countries in a collaborative manner,” Pradhan said.

The minister highlighted that India has a vibrant higher education ecosystem with 55,000 institutions, 42 million students and 1.6 million teachers, which needs to be further strengthened with an aspirational National Education Policy that is bringing transformative reforms.

The Tanzanian president received training under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in Hyderabad.

ITEC is a capacity-building programme offered by the Ministry of External Affairs under which officials and civilians receive training in the defence sector.

Addressing the occasion, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit called the convocation a display of ”nari shakti” and women-led development in ”Amritkaal” and congratulated Jaishankar and Pradhan for India’s stride towards a successful G20 and National Education Policy, 2020.

”We celebrate ’nari shakti’ today. Women-led development in ’Amritkaal’. Tanzania is a great friend of India and JNU is happy to be a part of this ceremony,” Pandit, the institution’s first woman vice-chancellor, said.

She also invited President Hassan to a lecture series at JNU’s Centre for African Studies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held wide-ranging talks with Hassan, with a focus on boosting overall bilateral ties.

Before the talks, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Hasan’s visit is an opportunity to take the long-standing ties between the two countries to ”new levels”.

President Hassan will also participate in a business and investment forum in Delhi later on Tuesday.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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