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Celebration of 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

Celebration of 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

To commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of India's Constitution, the Government of India has implemented a series of initiatives to be undertaken during the course of the year both in India and abroad.

As part of the celebrations, a study tour was organized by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, to New York and Washington DC comprising 50 doctoral and post-doctoral students in two groups of 25 students accompanied by an official team from October 12-18, 2015 for the first group and October 19-25, 2015 for the second group.

The Consulate General of India, New York facilitated the visit of the two study groups to New York during which a two day study programme was organized at Dr. Ambedkar's Alma Mater, Columbia University. The programme for both groups included a Panel Discussion moderated by Dr. Vishakha Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University; lecture by Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, current incumbent to the Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Chair; Campus tour including a tour of the Columbia Law School and to the statue of Dr. Ambedkar in the Low Library; Interaction with Masters Students from the School of International and Public Affairs, Business School and the Committee on Global Thought's inaugural MA Class. A meeting was also arranged with Prof. Akeel Bilgrami, Director of the South Asia Institute at Columbia University, for the second group.

The Consulate in association with the Ambedkar International Mission, organized lectures, by eminent professors excelling in the field of social justice and religion, followed by and interactive Q&A session at the New India House, for both study delegations during their visit to New York.

On October 14, 2015, while addressing the first study group, Prof. Christopher Queen, of Harvard University talked on Buddhist conversion and human rights movement of the Dalits of India, spearheaded by B. R. Ambedkar. Prof. Gary Michael Tartakov, Professor Emeritus, Art and Design at University of Iowa, threw light on the life of Dr. Ambedkar through his collection of visual imagery.

Prof. Andrew Lamas, Director of the "Social Justice Research Academy", School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania delivered an exhaustive lecture on October 22, 2015 to the second group which captured their attention from start to finish.

Consul General, Mr. Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, welcomed both delegations and encouraged these bright students to follow the path of Babasaheb, as he was popularly called, and keep the torch of learning burning brightly. A luncheon was hosted by Consul General for both groups following the lectures.

Subsequent to their visit to New York, the delegations proceeded on a two day visit to the country's Capital Washington DC, for a more historic experience.