Internationally, India is seen as an emerging power. It’s the world’s largest democracy, the fifth largest economy and a global information and communication technology leader. India represents tremendous economic potential, however it also holds the dubious position as having the most number of poor people – just over half the population (or 650 million people) are deemed poor by the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2013. In 2016 Prime Minister Modi declared: “India is ready for a war on poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, infant mortality and maternal deaths.”
India has great potential to eliminate poverty through the implementation of several nationwide rights-based programs for employment, food security, skills training and education. And by 2020, India will have the world's largest population of working people with a median age of 29 – promising huge demographic dividends.
With a government determined to promote education and entrepreneurship in a country rich in diversity, can India reinvent itself to emerge as the hope for a troubled world?
Professor S. Parasuraman has been the Director and Vice-Chancellor of Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India since 2004. He has more than three decades of experience as teacher and researcher in rural development, education, health, public policy, social protection, social exclusion and inclusive policies, governance, water and energy and a range of inter-disciplinary areas. ?
Prof. Parasuraman has held key positions in international organizations such as World Bank, IUCN, Oxfam, Action Aid International and the UN including being the Asia Policy Director of Action Aid International; Team Leader of the Secretariat and Senior Advisor to World Commission on Dams; and as Program Director, Oxfam GB, India Program. He has worked on inclusive development at the micro and macro level.
Prof Parasuraman has a Master's in Anthropology from the University of Poona, and a Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Mumbai. He has been a United Nations Fellow on Population and Development, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, and was conferred Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) by the Assam University.
Professor Parasuraman is a Visiting Scholar in SFU's School for International Studies.
The Munro Lecture is named after Jock Munro, an economist who served, with distinction, as SFU’s Vice-President, Academic.