Public Lecture by Former President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam on Transforming India into a Developed Country

Posted on: 15 June 2009

Announcement of Indian  Studies Posts Funded by Irish Indian Community and Indian Council for Cultural Relations

The former President of India, Dr A P J  Kalam (2002-07) gave a public lecture at Trinity College Dublin titled ‘The Vision Elevates the Nation’  on Thursday,  June 12th last.  The public lecture was hosted by  TCD’s  South Asia Initiative.In his lecture Dr Kalam  presented a vision for transforming India into a developed nation by 2020, using the multi-disciplinary specialisations available in the country.  The presentation provided a distinctive profile of India during 2020 and an integrated action plan for realising the goals of transformation.

Dr Kalam initially trained as an aeronautical engineer.  Before becoming president he contributed significantly  to India’s space programme and has been acting as principal scientific adviser to the government on many projects. He is one of the chief architects of India’s policies on innovation through technology and education, and his visions for India’s future have inspired and encouraged people all over India and beyond. As India’s 11th president, he is remembered as one of  the  country’s most popular presidents and the Indian community in Ireland filled the Public Theatre to welcome the former president to Ireland for the first time. More than 400  people attended the lecture.

Dr kalam

On the occasion of the  lecture  two  posts in Indian studies at Trinity College were also announced  by  the  College Registrar, Professor,  Jürgen Barkhoff  –  a lectureship in Indian history funded by the Indian community in Ireland as well as a  professorship funded by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Both posts are central to the College’s South Asia Initiative and will be linked to Trinity’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute, the Long Room Hub. The aim of the initiative is to focus and strengthen teaching and research on South Asia to establish strategic partnerships with cognate institutions in India and to develop scholarly and outreach events relating to India and the wider region.

Commenting on the significance of the posts, the College Registrar,  Professor Barkhoff said:  “These posts will give real focus to our Indian Studies programme and will form the nucleus of a Centre for Indian Studies. They are unique in that they have been enabled by very generous funding from the Indian community in Ireland. The College is enormously encouraged by this support and extremely grateful to our friends from the Indian community. We are looking forward to close cooperation with them”.

“Historically, Trinity has shared very strong links with India throughout the 18th and 19th century.  Today, teaching and research pertaining to India is offered by a wide range of disciplines across the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Sciences, for example in  History, Law, English, Drama, Economics, Geology and Ecumenics. We have a growing number of Indian students within our undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, and last year the Indian ambassador launched an Indian Student Society in the College. These new posts will allow us to build on all this and effect a real step change in  in our engagement with India.”