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Mr. MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, delivered the inaugural address as the chief guest. While observing that SAARC is going through multiple problems, the minister observed that the South Asian University was functioning far more smoothly than the regional body itself. He said that universities have their share of difficulties particularly when they are in their infancy but the scholarship and work done by South Asian University are at a level that other universities usually take a long while to achieve. SAU has been focussing on educating the young minds of the region, and this is a great place to learn diplomacy and the importance of understanding the subtext which controls our understanding of the region, Mr. Akbar added. Addressing the gathering which consisted of ambassadors from the SAARC member nations, dignitaries from ministries and think tanks, students, faculty and professional staff of SAU, the minister spoke at length about the challenge of modernity in the context of South Asia. Modernity, the minister said, is an easy word to use but slightly difficult to define and it has nothing to do with presence or absence of modern clothes and technology. The definition of modernity, he said, is freedom  freedom of thought, freedom of faith, freedom of gender and freedom from hunger. 1</code></pre> </div> </div> <div id="content-bottom"> <div id="content-bottom2"> <table width="110" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td width="22%" height="44"><a href="page4.html"><img src="images/previous.png" width="26" height="19" id="Image2" onmouseover="MM_swapImage('Image2','','images/previous2.png',1)" onmouseout="MM_swapImgRestore()" /></a></td> <td width="43%"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page1.html">1</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page2.html">2</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page3.html">3</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page4.html">4</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page5.html">5</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page6.html">6</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page7.html">7</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page8.html">8</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page9.html">9</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="page10.html">10</a> </td> <td width="35%"><a href="page6.html"><img src="images/next.png" width="26" height="19" id="Image1" onmouseover="MM_swapImage('Image1','','images/next2.png',1)" onmouseout="MM_swapImgRestore()" /></a></td> </tr> </table> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="right-button"> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="page6.html"><img src="images/next_big.png" width="90" height="80" /></a></p> </div> </div> </body> </html>