Master students at the conference on BRICS Societies in a Multi-Polar World: Historical-Comparative Perspectives and Current Challenges
On May 16-18 the first annual BRICS conference focusing on the interaction of the social sciences were held in National Research University Higher School of Economics.
The primary motive behind the conference was to bring together postgraduate scholars and faculty from different social sciences across the BRICS nations and share the developing trends and current situations prevalent in their countries. The conference aimed at establishing the crucial role played by each nation within the BRICS peripheries and how they are interconnected and interdependent on each other. Also it tried to focus on the major role played by the BRICS nations in the wider global arena.
The conference proceeded in three different segments which included lectures by senior scholars on key issues of BRICS studies in the social sciences and humanities followed by doctoral seminars in which the participants presented their projects and discuss them with the audience and reading group seminars in which recent analyses of the current global constellation were discussed. Eminent scholars like Professor Peter Wagner(The University of Barcelona, Spain), Professor Daniel Alexandrov (Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg) Professor Maxim Khomyakov (Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg) graced the occasion with their presence and delivered enlightening lectures during the course of the conference. Scholars from all Brazil, South Africa, Russia, China and India participated in this academic milieu.
The conference also saw the participation of two young post graduate students from the department of history at the Higher School of Economics Saint-Petersburg. Under the session of Current trends in Development of the BRICS Societies, David Damtar and Samrat Sil presented their research papers. The themes of the papers were interesting and diverging from each other.
David Damtar’s paper showcased the contribution of the mining and agricultural sector of South Africa to the wider BRICS arena and how influential South Africa remains in the wider socio-economics perspective of BRICS. This was his remark after the conference:
I personally learnt a lot from the three days programme which combined different ideas, methodologies, theories and practices as underlining factors to explore trending global economic, socio-cultural and geo-political issues in the social sciences. While my presentation ‘A Road to the BRICS; Resource Usage in South Africa’s Mining and Agricultural Sectors’ placed me on the platform to receive critique from various professors and researchers, I understood how disciplines in the social sciences interact to yield effective and efficient research on global phenomena.
On the other hand, Samrat Sil’s paper tried to find the answer behind the concept of India as a nation while comparing political leaders of past and the present. It also brought into limelight the present socio-political scenario within the Indian subcontinent. His remark for the conference was:
The three day conference was extremely helpful for me to understand the similarities of social sciences in BRICS and its importance. Not only did this conference allow me to interact with peers from other academic institutions but also gave me the opportunity to interact with renowned professors who are working on the field of social sciences.
At the end, their impression of the conference was a positive one. David indicated his optimism of the conference serving as a platform to expand his academic horizon when he noted that the ‘conference further provided a ground for connecting with these wonderful scholars and I deem it a good start learning process on the BRICS as modern discourse in contemporary social sciences’. Samrat was also positive about this initiative indicating that ‘the conference was academically enlightening and a lot of ideas were exchanged among the scholars for further development of the social sciences in the BRIC countries’. Such events are extremely crucial for young scholars to develop their future research”.