Atul Singh, the founder and editor of global magazine Fair Observer, told AU students the significant differences between Indian and American education affect both nations’ societies and economies.
“In India, learning is culturally prized,” Singh said. “The popular kids in school are the ones who are really smart. Whereas if you’re a young kid in America, you’re probably looked at as cool if you’re good-looking and good at sports. This is fine, but it doesn’t help the U.S. economy very much.”
Singh spoke to about 30 students in the School of International Service Founder’s Room Nov. 29 about the relationship between India, his home country, and the United States through three “prisms”: politics, history and economics.
“In my mind, ‘international relations’ is a fancy word for nothing but applied history, politics and economics,” he said. “Those are the foundations upon which all international relations rest.”
Singh came up with the idea of Fair Observer at the New York Global Media Summit in March 2010. He told AU students he wanted to create a magazine that was “a global platform for exceptional ideas.”
“If you look at the current global media market, you have too much news and too little analysis,” Singh said in an interview with The Eagle.
He also noted that The Economist is his magazine’s biggest competition, though it has its weaknesses.
“While The Economist is fairly rigorous and much better than many other magazines, it is very much an Oxford and Cambridge view of the world,” he said.
Singh said the best advice he can give to anyone, especially undergraduate students, is to learn to fail.
“People should figure out what they love, work really hard at it,and start living instead of worrying,” Singh told The Eagle.
The Kennedy Political Union, the South Asian Student Association and the Fair Observer sponsored Singh’s lecture.