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Wed, 13 Sept



UNGA-78 | Advancing Technologies, Employment Possibilities and Future Skills Prospects for Latecomer Countries

The session will focus on the dynamics of technological advancements and their impact on employment possibilities and skill needs, mainly in the countries of the Global South.

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UNGA-78 | Advancing Technologies, Employment Possibilities and Future Skills Prospects for Latecomer Countries
UNGA-78 | Advancing Technologies, Employment Possibilities and Future Skills Prospects for Latecomer Countries

Time & Location

13 Sept 2023, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm UTC



About the Event

Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78)

ISC and its partners will organise the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.

The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.

CRIS-IS.ORG is joining hands with ISC, Guru Nanak Dev University -India, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Australia, and Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) to hold four panels:

1. Advancing Technologies, Employment Possibilities and Future Skills: Prospects for Latecomer Countries: Wednesday, September 13 | 8:00am - 9:30am EDT

2. Transforming Innovation Systems and Restructuring Value Chains in Asia: The Way Forward: Saturday, September 16 | 10:00am - 11:30am EDT

3. Innovation Systems and Global Value Chains: Balancing the two for Growth, Human Welfare and Environmental Sustainability: Friday, September 22 | 6:00am - 7:30am EDT

4. Innovation Policy for sustainability - Reflections from Australian agriculture: Saturday, September 23 | 5:00am - 7:00am EDT

View the UNGA78 webpage:

Advancing Technologies, Employment Possibilities and Future Skills

Prospects for Latecomer Countries

13 SEP 2023

8 AM EDT & NY | 12 PM GMT | 1PM UK | 2 PM South Africa | 5.30 PM India | 8 PM China |10 PM Canberra

Speakers: Prof. Jaspal Singh Sandhu (opening remarks), Prof. Glenda Kruss, Prof. K Narayanan, Prof. Angathewar Baskaran and Prof. Leonardo

Moderator: Swati Mehta

Convenors of the session: Prof. Mammo Muchie, Dr Rajesh GK, Mr Declan and Dr. Swati Mehta.

Achieving sustainable economic growth and enhancing human welfare has been the primary concern for Governments and policymakers across different countries over time. We have been witnessing an unprecedented technological race for the past few decades wherein the frontrunner countries are making exorbitant gains and success. Therefore, technological inequalities are increasing among nations, leading to economic and social disparities. Henceforth, the latecomer countries are getting increasingly concerned about finding the ways and means to leapfrog to catch up with the frontrunner countries, for which the usual strategy is to build innovation capabilities: first through imitation, buying technologies and assimilating knowledge to transform later to a stage of contributing in technological advancements.  But this process is very complex and uncertain; that depends immensely on the nature of indigenous human capital. Human beings have an intrinsic ability and capacity to generate new ideas for innovation and increase production and productivity given the necessary enabling environment. Therefore, investment in building human capabilities through conducive institutional changes can play a significant role in building innovation capabilities for economic growth, mainly in latecomer countries. Over the years, many countries have increased their attention towards enhancing human capital with the aim of inculcating necessary knowledge and skills amongst the masses. However the fear of advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things etc. are posing numerous challenges for the countries engaged mainly in the production of low-value-added products and redundant processes. We have also been finding transformation in the knowledge-generating systems. Along with increasing investment in public education systems, the doors have increasingly been open for the private players; raising concerns of inclusiveness and affordability. Technological unemployment, contractual employment and informalisation of jobs are changing the nature of the labour market in different sectors and countries. Given these broader aspects, the session will focus on the dynamics of technological advancements and their impact on employment possibilities and skill needs, mainly in the countries of the Global South.


Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Vice Chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University, India

Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, is the first Medical Doctor to be Vice Chancellor of Multi Specialty University in the State of Punjab. He did most of his schooling in Amritsar and did his graduation and Post Graduation in Medicine from Government Medical College, Amritsar. During his student period, he was the best boy graduate and University Gold Medalist, Subsequent to his interest in Sports he joined Post Graduation in Sports Medicine from Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala, where he again topped in the University. For his outstanding contribution to the field of Medicine and especially in Sports Medicine, he has honoured as Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences, International Federation of Sports Medicine

(First Indian), Asian Federation of Sports Medicine, Association of Surgeons of India, Punjab Academy of Sciences etc. He has also been honoured by conferment of D.Sc. (Honoris Causa) by Avinashilingam Deemed to be University run by Government of India. Beginning his career in Medical College Amritsar, he was instrumental in setting up of the first and the only Department of Sports Medicine in University System of India at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, where he introduced various novel courses like MD (Sports Medicine), Ph.D. (Sports Medicine), Masters in Sports Physical Therapy etc. for the first time in India. His contribution to research has been more than 200 publications out of which half are International Journals. He rose to the rank of Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Sports Medicine, where he additionally worked as Director, UGC Academic Staff College and Professor In-Charge, Department of Public Relations. He was subsequently selected for the coveted post of Secretary of University Grants Commission, first Punjabi to be in this position where he served for more than a period of three years, which is probably the longest tenure in recent history in this august organization.

During his tenure as Secretary, UGC, he was additionally Director of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for some period beside serving on the governing bodies of Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC), Inter University Accelerator Centre (IUAC), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astro-Physics (IUCAA), Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET), UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research etc., besides on being the Board of Governors of various Universities. He has memberships of more than a dozen professional associations and bodies besides being the peer reviewer and member editorial board of numerous international journals. He has been part of the Government of India Delegations to Norway, China, Iran and Maldives. He has been invited for invited lectures in more than two dozen countries like Oman, UAE, Iran, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand etc.

Glenda Kruss, Executive Head of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) unit at the Human Sciences Research Council

Dr Glenda Kruss is the Executive Head of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) unit at the Human Sciences Research Council.

Over the past twenty years, she has worked in the field of innovation studies, to understand the role of universities and public research institutes in economic and social development, and the determinants of skills and knowledge flows within sectoral, national and global systems of innovation. Her current research focus is oriented towards more contextually appropriate datasets, measures and indicators of Science, Technology and Innovation for inclusive and sustainable development in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. She has collaborated widely on comparative research projects in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe, and has led large scale projects for national government, building alliances and networks between researchers, policy makers and practitioners in South Africa and the global South. She is a member of ASSAF, an NRF B-rated scholar and an editor of Innovation and Development.

K Narayanan Head of the Department of Economics and India Value Fund Chair Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India

K Narayanan is India Value Fund Chair Professor at IIT Bombay. He has a number of publications in the field of industrial competitiveness, technology transfer, ICT, international trade and socio-economic impacts of Climate Change. The research journals in which he has published include Research Policy, Studies in Regional Science, Technovation, Oxford Development Studies, Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Water Policy, Foreign Trade Review, Current Sciences, and Economic and Political Weekly.

Few of his recent publications includes edited books on (i) Indian and Chinese Enterprises: Global Trade, Technology, and Investment Regimes, (ii) Human Capital and Development: The Indian Experience, (iii) Innovation and Global Competitiveness: Case of India’s Manufacturing Sector, (iv) Technology: Corporate and Social Dimensions, and (v) Globalisation of Technology [all of them were jointly edited with N.S. Siddharthan] published by Routledge & Springer. His sixth book published in 2016 by Springer titled “Globalisation of Indian Industries: Productivity, Exports and Investment” was edited jointly with Filip De Beule of KU Leuven, Belgium. He also guest edited a Special Issue of the IASSI Quarterly on the theme “Human Capital and Development”, a Special Issue of the Sage published international journal, Science, Technology and Society on the theme “Agglomeration, technology clusters and networks”, and a Special Issue of “Innovation and Development”, published by Taylor and Francis.

Baskaran Angathevar, Head, University of Malaya North-South Research Centre (UMNSRC) Associate Professor Department of Development Studies

Baskaran Angathevar is Head, University of Malaya North-South Research Centre (UMNSRC) and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Malaya. He is also a Senior Research Associate, SHARChI (Innovation Studies), Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa. He holds a PhD (Science & Technology Policy Studies) from Sussex University, UK. He worked at the Middlesex University Business School, London (1999 to 2014) before joining the Department of Development Studies at University Malaya. His research interests include Economics of innovation; National innovation systems; Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Development and Environmental Management with the main focus on multidisciplinary themes related to emerging and developing economies. He has produced over 100 publications, including 13 books and 40 journal articles. He has undertaken research projects for UNESCO, OECD and European Commission, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). He is Editor-in-Chief, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (AJSTID). Email: &

Leonardo A. Lanzona, Jr

Professor, Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila

Leonardo A. Lanzona, Jr. is a labor economist. He completed his AB degree (Honors) at the Ateneo de Manila University, and his M.A. and PhD in Economics from the School of Economics, University of the Philippines, Diliman. He was a post-doctoral fellow with the Yale University Economic Growth Center from 1994-1996. A prolific researchers and writer, he has written on labor policies, published in academic journals (Journal of Development Economics, Millennial Asia, Southeast Asian Affairs), and contributed articles to various volumes including “Labor Markets in Asia: Issues and Perspectives” (Palgrave Macmillan 2006), “Unintended Consequences: The Folly of Uncritical Thinking” (Philippine Institute for Development Studies 2017), and “Technology, Innovations and Economic Development Essays in Honour of Robert E. Evenson” (Sage 2015).

Swati Mehta

Guru Nanak Dev University, India

Swati Mehta (PhD) teaches at Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. She is Associate Editor, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, Rutledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

She was Visiting Researcher, Institute of Economic Research, Seoul National University, Seoul, S. Korea with the award of International Scholar Exchange Fellowship (ISEF) of Korea/Chey Foundation for Advanced Study during March-August’ 2019.

Her area of research includes Economics of Innovation, Innovation Systems Approach, Global Value Chains, Development Economics, and Manufacturing Industries in developing countries. She is a Member of ‘The Global Network of Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (Globelics). She is a founding member of earlier career Innovation Researchers, CRIS,

She has published articles in journals like Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, Seoul Journal of Economics, International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development. Her latest published book is: Innovation Systems, Economic Development and Public Policy: Sustainable Options from Emerging Economies by Roultedge India and her upcoming book is Challenges to Punjab Economy: A Regional Perspective from India,

December 8, 2023 by Routledge India.

She is a referee to the journals of repute including Economic Modeling, Millennial Asia, Innovation and Development, Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development.

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