Saturday, November 11, 2017

Doaba College Jalandhar

Doaba College Jalandhar

Doaba College Jalandhar is one of the leading educational institutions in the Doaba region of Punjab. It recently celebrated its platinum jubilee after 75 years of its existence. The management of the college is steered by Chander Mohan, scion of a famous media and social personality Varinder of the erstwhile Partap group of newspapers, under the aegis of Arya Shiksha Mandal. Currently, since 2008, Doaba College is run under the stewardship of Dr. Naresh Kumar Dhiman, a renowned Sanskrit scholar and an able
Principal Dr. Naresh Kumar Dhiman
educational administrator as Principal. The UGC has declared Doaba College as “College with Potential for Excellence” The College has an in-house community radio station called “Raabta” and a centre for “Remedial classes for SC/ST/OBC students as an affirmative measure for the empowerment of the weaker sections of the society. Some of the leading lights, from the cross sections of  society, are the proud alumni of the college which, inter alia, include – Lord Swaraj Paul, business magnate and parliamentarian in the UK, Yash Chopra, doyen of Indian cinema as a producer and director of films in Bollywood, Prem Dhumal, politician and former CM of HP, Anurag Thakur, politician and MP, Manoranjan Kalia, politician and former Minister in Punjab, Gurpreet Ghuggi, a famous standup comedian and actor and a number of players of national and international standing.

Having associated myself with educational and social activities after my retirement from diplomatic service, it is a matter of satisfaction for me that I could establish good contacts and relationship with some of the premier educational outfits of the area such as Sant Baba Bhag Singh University where I serve on the Board of Management, D.A.V. College Jalandhar, my alma mater
Ambassador Ramesh Chander at DAV College Jalandhar
which invited me on several occasions to honour and speak, HMV College where I participated in a panel discussion on Live-in-Relationship, B.D. Arya Girls College where I gave a talk on ‘India’s Foreign Policy – An Overview”, D.A.V. College Dasuya where I participated in a seminar on “Gandhian Thought and International community, Shiv Jyoti School, a leading Higher Secondary school of Jalandhar honoured me to be the Chief Guest at one of their functions, among others. Doaba College was on my wish list. My wish was granted on November 7, 2017 when I was invited to deliver a talk on “India’s Foreign Policy: Challenges and opportunities” to an enlightened audience of students and teaching faculty. It was a gratifying experience and indeed an honour to be at the esteemed Doaba College Jalandhar.

·       The talk on the theme “India’s Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities” was arranged jointly by the Post Graduate Departments of Political Science and Geography which was very well organized and attended. Principal Dr. Naresh Kumar Dhiman in his welcome address was too generous and spoke high of me which humbled me further. He made very candid observations about the qualities of a diplomat and said good diplomats did not
Ambassdor Ramesh Chander
succumb to the glitter of praise and lavish hospitality and say their mind as clearly as possible. I found Dr. Dhiman as an astute educational administrator and a man of learning. Dr. Daljit Singh, HOD of the Geography Department made a good and informative presentation on “Geo-politics and Foreign Policy” particularly with relation to India’s borders with Pakistan and China. Prof. Dr. Rajan Sharma, of the Political Science Department of the college termed in his well prepared speech as ‘Modification of the Foreign Policy” referring to the PM Narendra Modi’s intensive involvement in the formulation and execution of the policy. I have been meeting Dr. Rajan Sharma on various academic and educational events. He impressed me with is scholarship and pleasant personality. I as a lead speaker and so called Chief Guest; based my talk on historical perspective including the sterling role and contribution of Chankya or Kautilya, evolution under Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and others and came to the basic determinants and current elements of India’s foreign policy under PM Modi’s government. Quoting PM Narendra Modi from his speech at the Raisina Dialogue, “
नो भद्रो : क्रत्वो यन्तु विश्वत” - Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions, I mentioned about PM Modi’s initiatives to intensify his interaction with his international counterparts for integrating India’s foreign policy objectives with that of the world community. I brought to fore the important aspects and formulations of the foreign policy as pronounced by PM Modi, saying “Our strategic intent is shaped by our civilizational ethos of:
यथार्थवाद (realism), सह-अस्तित्व (co-existence), सहयोग (cooperation),तथा सहभागिता (partnership).”
Stating that diplomacy was a continuous process, I reiterated the famous dictum, “There were no permanent friends; there were no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” And said that India’s foreign policy and its executions were fully geared to meet the challenges and exploit the opportunities in the years to come and quoted an Urdu couplet of Alhama Iqbal:

जो है पर्दों में पिन्हा; चश्मे-बीना देख लेती है,
ज़माने की तबीयत का तकाज़ा देख लेती है
It was followed by a very interesting and intense interactive session of question and answers both from the students and the faculty which Principal Dr. Dhiman termed as the most informative and rewarding exercise. Prof. Balbir Chander, a simple but down to
Prof. Balbir Chander
earth academic and a teacher of standing by his own right and HOD of  Political Science Department of the college, thanked the speakers and the audience for making the seminar a grand success and that they look forward to more of such functions for the benefit of young students. The function was ably conducted by Prof. Puneet Kalra as Master of Ceremonies. Principal Dr. Naresh Kumar Dhiman graciously treated us on a piping-hot luncheon delivered from the mess of one of the college hostels situated in the college complex itself.

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