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Lecture boost to Delhi varsity

New Delhi, Jan. 16: For the first time in its history, Delhi University will have the rare distinction of Nobel laureates and renowned academics lecturing upon diverse topics and interacting with teachers and students.

The programme will comprise at least one lecture every six months and is likely to continue for a few years. Called the “Millennium Lectures”, the programme was inaugurated last month with a lecture on the History of Just War theory and the adverse implications of its excesses by Michael Walzer, a professor at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton.

“The lecture by Walzer was a tremendous success and we expect the same response for the programme scheduled tomorrow,” said Rajiv Bhargava, chairperson of the committee that supervises the programme. Tomorrow’s lecture by Professor Ronald Dworkin of Oxford University will be followed by one by Nobel laureate Joseph Stigletz after a few months.

Delhi University, a central university located in the capital, is not new to talks by eminent personalities. However, programmes remain confined only to departments without the participation of either members from other streams or the non-academic sections. “This is where the Millennium Lectures stand apart from the rest, as they will provide a platform for people from different sections to take part, including the non-academic community,” said Bhargava.

The talks are also meant to rejuvenate research within the university, inspire teachers and infuse students with a passion for ideas and contribute towards making the university the centre of the intellectual life of the city.

The choice of speakers is not constrained by geographical boundaries. The work of invited speakers must be path-breaking and at the frontier of research in their respective fields. The speaker, whose work must have an appeal across a broad range of disciplines, should also be a good communicator, given the public nature of the lectures.

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