Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam became a rare Indian leader to take up teaching assignment in a Chinese university after he was formally conferred the title of Honorary Professor by the Peking University, one of the oldest Chinese universities.
Beijing: In his first class after taking over as Honorary Professor of a top Chinese University, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday called for Sino-Indian joint space collaboration and interface between universities of the two countries on development themes.
Eighty-three-year-old Kalam became a rare Indian leader to take up teaching assignment in a Chinese university after he was formally conferred the title of Honorary Professor by the Peking University, one of the oldest Chinese universities.
"I believe that the very act of universities of the world working together will be a major factor in better understanding of the different cultures and contribute significantly to the peace and prosperity of the world", Kalam said.
President of the University Enge Wang presented the certificate to Kalam after which he took a class on "Sustained development system and creative leadership" to a group of students drawn from different disciplines.
The ceremony was attended, among others, by Indian Ambassador Ashok K Kantha and other officials. The challenges to bring the power to earth are too many but it could be worked out through joint collaboration. If the two countries can join together for space solar power carbon neutral cities can be found everywhere, Kalam said.
He said China and India should have research and academic interfaces in development themes in order to address the development challenges.
While Kalam wanted the students to come up with questions as he spoke most of the time, the lecturers needed to intervene to raise questions themselves.
Responding to a question on how India and China can collaborate to generate clean energy, Kalam said both the countries should jointly take up the challenge to build satellites that could generate round-the-clock solar power and connect the world with clean power.
Currently solar power can be harnessed only during the day hours. Research is on to harness solar power through satellite for round-the-clock availability.
Former president Kalam would address two more classes in the next two days on sustainable model for rural development and harnessing space and solar power.
He was formally invited to teach at the University by its Chairman Zhu Shanlu when he visited China for the first time in 2012.
During his last visit here on the invitation of Chinese government, Kalam visited China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), China's premier institution in-charge of the country's space and satellite programme.