Following on the heels of the federal government’s new India Engagement Strategy, York University has signed a University-wide collaborative academic agreement with India’s University of Calcutta. The agreement was signed by York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Suranja Das, vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta, during a special ceremony on June 20.
|Above: From left, Suranja Das, vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta, and York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri|
“We are pleased to sign this agreement with India’s Calcutta University and National Law University (Delhi),” said Shoukri. “At York, we recognize the value of internationalization for our community. This partnership provides our faculty and students with comprehensive learning and research opportunities, allowing them to collaborate, share ideas, and grow their worldly experiences, thereby enhancing their contributions to our global economy.”
The agreement allows for the exchange of students and faculty across disciplines and offers opportunities for collaborative research, joint project development and more. The first concrete area of collaboration will likely be in the area of nanotechnology, which is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Following the signing ceremony, Das who was on his first visit to Canada, gave a well-attended talk titled “India at the Crossroads”.
The impetus for the linkage between York University and the University of Calcutta came through a connection with Sampra Badra, a professor of physics in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering and associate dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Badra and Das were schoolmates in India and have kept in touch ever since.
Left: Sampra Badra
“Badra was the initiator and driving force for our two universities starting talks,” said York Associate Vice-President International Lorna Wright. “Our connections with the University of Calcutta go back before there was a York University. Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Lee Lorch, gave a talk on mathematics there in 1944 on the Summability of Infinite Series.
“This is a University-wide agreement with so much potential in a wide variety of subjects, including history, women’s studies, political science, peace and conflict resolution, mathematics, nanotechnology, and fine arts,” Wright added.
Prior to the signing ceremony, Das met with Badra, Martin Singer, dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and York mathematics and statistics Professor Jianhong Wu, who is Canada Research Chair in Industrial & Applied Mathematics.
Later that day, at Osgoode’s temporary offices in South Ross, Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin and Wright met with a delegation of three vice-chancellors from three law schools in India. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ranbir Singh, vice-chancellor of the National Law University (Delhi). The MOU outlines a basis from which a future agreement may be signed that would include cooperative research and exchanges of students, faculty and fellows, between the two institutions.
Left: From left, Ranbir Singh, vice-chancellor of the National Law University (Delhi) and Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin
Sossin also met with Veer Singh, vice-chancellor of NALSAR University of Law, and Balraj Chauhan, vice-chancellor of Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University in Lucknow. The group engaged in exploratory meetings to learn more about each other and where the two institutions could build a future agreement.
“We are excited about this new partnership, which further deepens Osgoode’s engagement with India and will provide additional learning and research opportunities for students and faculty,” said Sossin.
Discussions toward the agreement began in March when Sossin and several other Osgoode faculty members including Lisa Philipps, associate dean research, graduate studies & institutional relations, visited India and had an opportunity to meet with faculty and students and tour the excellent new facilities at NLU (Delhi). “Monday’s signing ceremony at Osgoode was a wonderful launch for our official institutional relationship,” Sossin said.
NLU (Delhi) was established in 2008 by the Delhi Government at the initiative of the Delhi High Court. The University has state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities for learning and research and has been offering a BA, LLB (Hons) program for three years. Starting this August, NLU (Delhi) will offer LLM programs in specialized areas and a PhD program.
|Above: From left, Lorne Sossin, Ranbir Singh, Lisa Philipps, Balraj Chauhan, Veer Singh, Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Poonam Puri, and Lorna Wright, associate vice-president international|
For more information, see the India and York University Fact Sheet.