The Government of India has decided to increase scholarship seat allocations for students from Ghana from 250 to 300 in the ITEC category, and increase the annual scholarships under other Indian schemes from 20 to 40.
Revealing this during an address to the faculty and students of the University of Ghana, Legon Campus, on Monday evening, President Pranab Mukherjee said that he was delighted to know that the students of Ghana are rated by institutes and universities in India as the finest among all foreign students.
He said that India has been sharing her knowledge and skills with nations in Africa and other developing countries, especially in the case of capacity-building programs that are promoted under ITEC and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). President Mukherjee, however, said that notwithstanding the fraternal friendship between India and Ghana, there was a need to recognize the challenges that are an inevitable and integral part of any developmental process.
He said that both India and Ghana more or less face similar challenges such as eliminating poverty; defeating the scourge of terrorism; promoting sustainable development in harmony with the environment and eco-systems; the need to further refine democratic systems and strengthening democratic institutions and adding greater value to each other’s resources, while efficiently generating employment opportunities for the youth.
“In brief, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the way we conduct our relations, while building further on the foundation of our mutual goodwill. We need to define a new positive and create a brighter, innovative and updated narrative of India-Ghana relations,” President Mukherjee said.
“I am confident that our youth, who are our leaders of tomorrow, would fit in seamlessly into this renewed and revised model of cooperation. By duly making them stakeholders, we will succeed in reinvigorating our partnership and taking it to a new level…. I would, therefore, call upon the youth of Ghana to employ your learning and knowledge in the service of your society and your nation… I have no doubt that you will claim for Ghana the rightful place that it deserves in the comity of nations,” he added.
President Mukherjee said that he would like to see the faculty and students of the University of Ghana taking full advantage of the scholarships and training opportunities announced by India at the India-Africa Forum Summit last year.
He made a special mention of Ghana’s two eminent centers of learning – the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi and the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre of ICT Excellence in Accra, both of which were playing a significant and nurturing role in the India-Ghana institutional relationship.
In his concluding remarks, the president used the University of Ghana platform to once again remind the world community that there was an urgent need to transform and reform the way the United Nations, and particularly the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) functions.
“It is imperative that the organs of the United Nations should keep pace with the changing times. A country of India’s size and civilizational depth cannot be watching from the sidelines as the Security Council dispenses solutions to global issues. The continent of Africa of over a billion people cannot be a bystander while its fate is defined,” he said.
He described Ghana as a robust nation that has been commanding respect across Africa and the world for the last several years, and urged it to continue with its good work, particularly in guiding its youth to realize their full potential.
“As long as there is dynamism and radiance in the students and scholars of this country, the future belongs to you. It will be a product of what you sow today. If you toil today, you will triumph tomorrow,” President Mukherjee said.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he reminded his captive audience that it was useless to acquire, “Wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; commerce without morality; science without humanity; worship without sacrifice, and practice politics without principles.”