The India Business Group (IBG) was delighted to support the University of Southampton’s high level India delegation visit of last week. Led by Professor Colin Grant, Vice President International for the University, the delegation comprised 15 colleagues, bringing energy and passion in enhancing existing links and celebrating transformational new relationships in India.
Represented by IBG’s Chairman, Lord Patel of Bradford OBE and Chief Executive Officer, Amarjit Singh (who is also the University’s Special Advisor for India), the visit entailed stimulating meetings and roundtables with senior officials, leading academics from many disciplines, business leaders and the University’s alumni network. The common theme was utilising science, technology and innovation for the betterment of society through creating “real impact partnerships”.
On our immediate arrival into Delhi, we met with one of India’s most eminent Supreme Court Judges and had an evening engagement with several private universities, schools and industry leaders. We showcased the University’s centres of excellence and credentials as a world-leading institution constantly ranked amongst the top 100 universities worldwide and founding member of the prestigious Russell Group of research intensive universities in the UK.
The delegation then split into several sub-teams to pursue interests in six other Indian cities, with a particular focus on key areas such as social enterprise, marine and maritime, creative design, chemistry and demography. Whilst in Delhi, we also met with top officials in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and obtained valuable insights into the rapidly changing education landscape and range of ambitious new programmes aimed at promoting global research and faculty collaborations such as GIAN.
We then proceeded to a signing of two ground-breaking international agreements (MoU’s) with the Chandra Foundation to nurture next-generation leaders in education in India through the School of Education (see: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2017/09/chandra-southampton.page)
celebrated in the Palace of Westminster in June by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden with Mr Amreesh Chandra, Lord Patel of Bradford and other senior officials at The Indian Awards 2017 presented by IBG - see: http://www.theindianawards.com
The university also signed a major new impact partnership with the State Government of Rajasthan (see: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/university-of-southampton-mou-rajasthan/1/1041954.html). Lord Patel and Amarjit Singh joined Amreesh Chandra, Professor Colin Grant, Professor Derek McGhee, Professor Sabu Padmadas and Dr Pathik Pathak for discussions with the State’s HE Minister and her key advisors in forging this unique new partnership in which the university will help train next generation leaders and achieve massive impact in areas of pressing demand.
Our final part of the visit ended in South India’s coastal city, Chennai, where colleagues had excellent collaborative discussions with IIT Madras, members of the local British Business Group and a superb Alumni event, which was attended by Bharat Joshi, the British Deputy High Commissioner for Chennai, and supporters from the British Council and local business community.
Further developing and implementing the University’s India strategy, this special visit was an important part of the step change the University is effecting with its engagement with India. In summary, the hugely successful mission touched upon the four main pillars of the International Strategy: research, education, community and policy.
Amarjit Singh commented: “We are delighted to support and facilitate effective global collaborations and look forward to continuing our joint working relationship with the University of Southampton. The IBG is keen to recognise and work with partners to develop a long term strategy to build on the shared passion for education between the UK and India by bringing together key education institutions, enterprises and Indian States.
Professor Colin Grant commented: “I am delighted to reflect on a superb visit to India. With the significant support of the IBG and the University’s Special Advisor on India, Mr Amarjit Singh, we have set in train a massive programme of transformation. Next steps are already in train.”