Even as countries across the world are converging towards higher level of human development, India now aims at creating an army of human resource development experts.
“Our aim is to work sincerely to spread the message of human development more so in the country that looks upon India specially African countries,” said secretary, human resource development, Ashok Thakur at the inaugural function of International Centre for Human Development at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Studies here.
“We want to create an army of human resource development experts,” he said, adding that India is a platform for human development experts.
Thakur expressed concern over difference in the human index reports prepared annually by the different states across the country. “Another thing which I expect from this international centre for human development is the inputs for the HRD index reports. Every state government has its own indicators. It is necessary to bring uniformity in global indicators,” he said, adding that time has come to take a harder look at the human index report.
Highlighting the importance of the centre, Thakur said work of the centre was not purely academic and the activities would prove significant for India's soft power.
“Other institutes across the country too were vying for the international centre, but it is due to the goodwill and the name of IIAS that we decided to set up this centre here,” he said, adding that HRD's collaboration with the United Nations to start this centre would significantly benefit the state. “Activities at the centre will provide tremendous exposures to the research scholars here,” he said.
“Colloquiums, seminars and other activities will be a big advantage for policy makers and those implementing them,” he added.
Former director of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies Peter Ronald D Souza, who is now director of International Centre for Human Development in Delhi, elaborated on the project.
The centre in Delhi was inaugurated by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.
“India has remained at the forefront of preparing human development reports,” said D Souza.
He said the centre in Shimla would build partnership with countries of South and offer fellowship to researchers.
Throwing light on the centre, he said in total the centre had received 93 applications from fellows in 23 different countries, of which only 12 were shortlisted.
He said the centre would work in four core areas - collaborate with SEVA, an organisation responding to livelihood of insecure women, reply to violence against women in South Africa, Brazil and India and redress the ways to eradicate.
Director of the institute Chetan Singh focused on how the idea to set up the centre was conceptualised. The centre rechristened as IC4HD offers fellowship support and three-month programmes, beginning September 1, which do not involve empirical work with data collection and fieldwork during the fellowship period.