Shiv Nadar University hosts an International Symposium on SDGs, Knowledge and Democracy: Re-imagining Purposes and Opportunities

January 18, 2017; Uttar Pradesh: Shiv Nadar University today announced the successful conclusion of a two-day Symposium on the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Knowledge and Democracy: Re-imagining Purposes and Opportunities.” This Symposium was hosted by the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS), Shiv Nadar University (SNU) and the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), in collaboration with the Programme on Science and Technology Studies, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Shiv Nadar University hosts an International Symposium on SDGs, Knowledge and Democracy:  Re-imagining Purposes and Opportunities

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), declared in September 2015, include 17 targets set by the global community, led by the UN, to address the world’s major challenges, including environmental, financial, industrial, mobility and security (ranging from wars to cyber space) concerns, and set the course for sustainable futures the world over. This Symposium was meant to enable a dialogue on whether it is necessary to re-articulate what the SDGs mean for India and other developing countries.

Designed to enable informed dialogue and debate, this Symposium discussed papers addressing each of the following four thematic sessions:

·         Creating a guide for generating and utilizing reliable knowledge for development

·         inclusive and democratic environmental deliberation

·         cross-national harmonization and

·         ethical decision making about attainable futures

The Symposium featured several leading scholars and practitioners, and students committed to the study of knowledge and development from several Universities. Prof. Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, delivered the keynote address. Prof. Jasanoff’s research on STS, environmental regulation and risk, comparative public policy, science and law, and science and technology policies and risk cultures, has influenced public policy, governance reforms, democratic forums in many countries and international agencies.

Inaugurating the Symposium, Prof. Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice Chancellor, SNU, said, “Shiv Nadar University is envisioned as an institution that encourages and provides a platform for meaningful dialogues. As the complementarity between university-based fundamental science and industry/field-based applied science has not been understood or demonstrated enough in recent times, science as a whole has increasingly come under critical scrutiny. This Symposium is a great effort in the direction of bridging the gap between free-spirited exploration-driven scientific enquiry and its relevance & application in the policy-making framework. The SNU faculty has always been interested in the interdisciplinary issues of inclusive urbanization and sustainable energy transitions. The Symposium is expected to lead to a research program on sustainability, knowledge and democracy focusing on India and the global South.”

About Shiv Nadar University

Shiv Nadar University is a multi-disciplinary, student-centric research-focused university offering a full range of academic programs at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. SNU’s integrated multi-disciplinary undergraduate curriculum provides students a strong foundation in the humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, technology and engineering studies, arts and communication and management, while enabling them to gain mastery of a subject of their choosing. Taught by world-class faculty, undergraduate education at SNU is designed to develop students with the breadth of vision, knowledge, skills and attitudes required to succeed in the careers of the 21st century.  SNU is an institution set up and funded by the Shiv Nadar Foundation.

About Shiv Nadar Foundation 

The Shiv Nadar Foundation ( has been established by Shiv Nadar, Founder, HCL - a $7 billion leading technology and healthcare enterprise. The Foundation’s mission is to contribute to the process of national development and social transformation by establishing institutions and undertaking new initiatives in the fields of education and culture.  The Foundation is committed to the creation of a more equitable, merit based society by empowering individuals to bridge the socio-economic divide through philanthropy based transformational education.

The Foundation set up the SSN Institutions ( in 1996, comprising the SSN College of Engineering (already a highly ranked private engineering college in India), in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The Foundation has also set up VidyaGyan, a residential leadership academy for meritorious rural children, at Bulandshar and Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh. In addition, the Foundation runs the Shiv Nadar University (, an international multi-disciplinary university with strong research orientation located in Greater Noida in India’s National Capital Region and the Shiv Nadar School (, a network of progressive urban schools across India aimed to provide children with education that creates lifelong learners. The Foundation has also set up the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (, India’s largest private philanthropic museum in modern and contemporary art with the vision to take art to the common public.