“Education is a key transformational impetus to take the youth and make them ready for the future”, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security for Singapore Teo Chee Hean said in his keynote address at the Fourth South Asian Diaspora Convention in Singapore.
Held at the University Cultural Centre (UCC) in the lovely campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS), the convention organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), NUS featured more than 30 renowned policy makers, academics, civil society leaders and business leaders as speakers and moderators.
In the Plenary Session I, Business in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges were discussed, the consensus was that a young working population and cost effectiveness was the key reason why all eyes were on the Indian subcontinent.
In Plenary Session II, Women Empowerment in South Asia covered issues starting from childbirth to collective bargaining empowerment for women. Work-life balance, choice to pursue aspirations and a supportive legal system is what the Singapore government strives to offer all women, said second Minister for Finance and Education, Ms. Indranee Rajah.
Infrastructure and Smart Cities was the keynote addressed in Plenary Session III by Singapore’s Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong. The focus should be not just on smarter but on cleaner, greener cities he said.
Addressing the question asked by Connected to India, Minister Lawrence Wong said, “Every consumer has a role to play. There is a need to change production and consumption patterns but it’s challenging and requires some sacrifice from both developed and developing countries”.
Plenary session V: Innovations, Start ups and Youth started with short speeches by the panelist. Be it innovators, start-ups or entrepreneurs, all are looking towards India as the country to target - whether it is for number of babies born, rotis made, IT usage or consumption of halal food - due to the demographics.
Additional sessions included those on Trends in Educational Technology, Technology in Financial Services and an Interactive Session on South Asian Diaspora: A Strategic Asset.