LUMS students shine at the 8th SAESM
This year the historical multidimensional metropolis, New Delhi, which is also India’s capital was the venue for the 8th South Asian Economics Students' Meet (SAESM). The meet was hosted by Ramjas College, University of Delhi from October 29 to 31, 2011.
Participating at the event were teams from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Pakistani delegation comprised third and fourth year students from LUMS and the Lahore School of Economics, accompanied by Dr. Turab Hussain, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, LUMS and SAESM Country Coordinator and Dr. Ali Hasanain, Assistant Professor of Economics, LUMS and Patron, Random Walk Economics Society (RWES). Khadija Zeb, President of RWES, LUMS was the student team leader. The Pakistani team proved to be excellent participants and ambassadors of Pakistan.
The structure of the SAESM this year comprised 8 paper presentation sessions, a Budding Economist competition, and a Quiz competition. LUMS students performed impressively in each of these events. They also had the chance to interact with Professor Kaushik Basu, a renowned Economist and the current Chief Economic Advisor of India, first in hearing his keynote address, then over tea during the conference, and again later when he hosted the Pakistani participants for dinner. Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Secretary General of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), also spoke about the importance of regional cooperation at the event.
The LUMS team proved their mettle at the prestigious Budding Economist of South Asia competition where the criteria for winning was a series of exams, evaluation of a written essay, evaluation of the interpretation of visuals in real time, and finally an exhaustive interview with judges from each country. Khadija Zeb, Raahema Arif Siddiqui and Osama Safeer of LUMS reached the final round of the competition, and Hassan Ghani of LSE was ranked amongst the top ten. Osama Safeer was declared the Budding Economist of South Asia. LUMS students Raahema was ranked second and Khadija was ranked at fourth position at the competition.
During the paper presentation round, Ahmed Rubbie Jamshed, Ahmed Sultan Butt and Syed Ali Akbar Rizvi of LSE, and Harris Salman Nusrat, Talha Waheed, Myra Ejaz and Maria Qureshi of LUMS performed well. Danya Arif Siddiqui from LUMS won the best paper prize in her category. Her paper was about urbanization. In the Quiz competition, Maria Qureshi, Ali Akbar Rizvi and Ahmed Rubbie, performed competitively.
According to Dr. Turab Hussain, the LUMS team put up a very strong show and numerous judges, faculty members of various participating institutions and their peers praised the way the students strongly represented Pakistan at the event. Dr. Ali Hasanain appreciated the efforts of the LUMS students and stated that that having worked closely with them over the last few months in preparing, he is very proud of the progress they made and the extent of their effort and commitment. Dr. Hasnain also commented that ultimately, it is the experiences the students have collected and the maturity they have gained at the event, which will determine whether and what they truly won from participating. Dr. Hasanain believes that he students have profited handsomely in this sense.
Having done well academically, LUMS students proved themselves excellent ambassadors of their country on the retreat organised by the hosts. New Delhi is home to captivating ancient monuments, magnificent museums and a vivacious cultural and performing-arts scene and this rich blend was eagerly savoured by LUMS students.
Whether it was adapting to last-minute changes in their itineraries, traveling in and around Delhi, or visiting the Taj Mahal, they were always courteous and generous to fellow participants and hosts alike. Proof of their conduct is the fact that LUMS students continue to be in touch with the friends they made, event after the event.
Next year, SAESM will be held in Nepal, and it is hoped the representatives next year will carry on this fine tradition as ably as their peers this year. SAESM was last held at LUMS back in 2006 and LUMS is planning to host the 10th Anniversary SAESM here in Lahore in 2013.