By Hari Chand–
The twenty students of Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD) of Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal have been doing research in their respective topics under three months fellowship provided by the Sichuan University (SCU), China. We have spent about a month here and have been learning. Moreover, the environment of Sichuan University, the interaction with the students from various discipline having diverse back ground from different countries, visit of some of the important and historical places like Sichuan Science and Technology Museum, Panda Birth Place etc are the catalysts of our learning.
In next two months, we shall further learn different subjects like Modern Politics of China, International Political Economy, Chinese Modern Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, Belt and Road Initiative, Diplomatic Ideas of Major Powers and so on. In the mean time, provision of renowned professors of Sichuan University as our research supervisor is another factor of motivation.
The utilization of knowledge gained from SCU will be of tremendous implication in Nepal. The sharing of our learning with our university students in Nepal regarding China’s breakthrough in her national development and prosperity will be of great achievement. Furthermore, the opportunity of conducting research in different topics in SCU would obviously benefit the fellows as they will encounter the real environment related to the topic. For an academic research, an institution of the students specially related to international affairs would be more beneficial. In this regard, we have begun a practice of learning through “IR Study/Research Circle-Nepal”, which is a loose circle aiming to foster collective effort.
Trans- Boarder Students’ Network (TBSN) for Collective Research:
The Chengdu and the Kathmandu are supposed to be developed as the sister cities. The Tribhuvan University and the SCU have concluded MoU. As the Development of Nepal has largely hinged on China’s financial and technical support, the cooperation between TU and SCU would further enhance the knowledge production.
As the Trans-Himalayan Research Center can be considered as milestone in research activities of the whole region in the South Asia, ‘Inter-University Students’ Network’ or ‘Trans- Boarder Students’ Network (TBSN)’ can also be the connecting thread of the universities. This network can institutionally be formed as the research network in students and Alumni students’ level of both universities under Trans Himalayan Research Centers of TU and SCU.
The students of Universities are not only the promising think tank but also the future diplomats, academicians and political leaders. Therefore, to incorporate the students’ research of TU with the research of SCU, TBSN would be helpful in students and Alumni students’ level. It will be developed as the connector of the students for joint research purpose.
An international students seminar can be organized once a year regarding common research area and issues like culture, education, science and technology, development, economic cooperation, trade relations, trans-Himalayan tourism development, Diplomatic Relations of both the countries, New dynamics of 21st century diplomacy, Challenges of Globalization and so on. Such series of seminar will build the confidence level of the students/researchers along with the enhancement of research skill. The culture of sharing among the students of both universities will be established. In addition, students/researchers will be focused on their area of interest in which they want to build their future career.
The next academic work may be the joint publication of articles in national news papers or in journals in both the cities and universities. For this, each student from both universities can work together in their area of interest. If such types of works are started, Chinese and Nepalese model of research materials will be exchanged. From this joint academic work, media cooperation between the Cities will be strong. One student/researcher from SCU and one from TU can work together for this purpose.
Next important discourse may be the annual meeting of students/researchers with the think tank of both the cities along side annual student seminar which will develop the relationship between the think tanks and the promising students/researchers. Strong networking between the generations will fulfill the gap.
At the end, the rise of Asia needs strong academic debate, discourse, study, research and the publication. On the one hand, Integration between and among the countries for this purpose is fundamental thing and on the other hand, research and publication by university level students/scholars is base foundation of it. The question is “would it be possible to form the Trans Boarder Students’ Network including China and all other South Asian Countries? Can we begin from TU and SCU first? Yes, it is possible. It will be entry point for regional and inter-regional academic integration in research.
(The writer is doing research on “China’s foreign policy towards South Asia” in China’s Sichuan University)