I am happy to update you on the many accomplishments of the Canada-India Centre at Carleton University.
I visited India in February and was privileged to meet with industry leaders from MindTree, TaraSpan, Biocon, Tata, and CORE Group and with members of the government including: Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development and Communications & Information Technology; Rajendra K Tiwari, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture; Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy; R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister and Ajit Kumar Seth, Cabinet Secretary. I also signed a number of important MOU’s for the Centre including FICCI, IISc, and IIT Bombay.
Dr. Lina Kalfayan joined Carleton as the Director of Operations at the Canada-India Centre for Excellence. Prior to joining Carleton, Lina served as the Senior Advisor in the Office of Sponsored Research at McGill University and as the Director of the IAIN Indonesia Social Equity Project, a bilateral, multi-million dollar, higher education capacity development program funded by the governments of Canada and Indonesia. Lina has a long involvement with NGO work in India. We are most fortunate indeed to have her with us!
Dr. L.K. Maheshwari was appointed as the Scientific Advisor on Canada-India relations to the Vice-President (Research & International) at Carleton University. Dr. Maheshwari is Professor Emeritus and Advisor to Chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani, and has a distinguished career as a scientist and as former vice-chancellor of BITS-Pilani. Dr. L.K. Maheshwari was at Carleton throughout the month of April and continues to work with us to nurture meaningful partnerships between the university and various like-minded individuals and institutions in India.
This Spring, Carleton welcomed 5 Commonwealth scholars working in the area of computer science (4) and chemistry (1) who will be conducting research in their respective disciplines at Carleton until the Fall 2012 term. These scholars come to us from our Indian partner institutions, Anna University (Chennai), IISc (Bangalore), Indian Statistical Institute (Kolkata), BITS-Pilani, and TIFR (Mumbai) under DFAIT’s Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program. We thank Drs. A. Maheshwari and P. Sundararajan for their exceptional leadership in this initiative.
As part of their Canada tour, fifteen high ranking officials from the Indian National Defense College (NDC) participated in a tailor-made seminar organized by Carleton’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), now housed at our newly completed River Building.
In May, we were happy to receive the Board Chair of Jai Hind College (Mumbai), Mr. Chandru Thadhani who met with the leadership team at Sprott School of Business to discuss academic program collaborations. In June, we also received the management team of the CORE International Institute of Higher Education who visited Carleton to discuss details of an emerging partnership with the Faculty of Engineering.
The Centre also hosted two high profile events. On May 22nd, Dr. Pramod Deo, Chairperson, India Central Electricity Regulatory Commission offered a public lecture followed by a roundtable on the challenges and opportunities in the power sector in India. On June 11th, Dr. Shekhar Shah, Director-General, National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER, New Delhi) offered a public lecture entitled “Can India end poverty in a generation?” This event took place at IDRC headquarters in downtown Ottawa and was co-hosted by IDRC and the Canada-India Centre for Excellence. Both events were attended by representatives of the public and private sectors, as well as researchers and students from Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Dr. Hari Nagarajan, Senior Fellow at NCAER, addressed a graduate economics class at Carleton and engaged the students in a lively discussion on the topic “Does Democracy Matter?” [in improving rural economic welfare].
Our India Resource Centre and Library has been enriched with a donation of hundreds of books and audiovisual material from the High Commission of India and individual donors. The centre now houses a collection of books related to India – from arts and culture to foreign policy. We especially thank Mrs. Chauhan for facilitating this gift.
On June 10th, Canada-India Centre Board member Mr. Sudhir Handa, and his wife, Mrs. Ruth Harper received Carleton’s Leadership in Philanthropy Award at the 2012 Summer Social. This award is presented annually to an individual, family, association, corporation or foundation who, through financial support and outstanding leadership, has had a significant impact on the success of the university and has advanced the quality of life at Carleton University through their commitment.
I realize that Mr. Handa and Mrs. Harper do not seek recognition. It was thus extremely gracious of them to accept this award with the goal of inspiring others to join them in supporting the Centre.
I am also happy to report that Mr. Lajpat Prasher, Board Member, Canada-India Centre for Excellence, became a Founding Member of the International Advisory Council for Olds College, Alberta.
Please join me in congratulating them on their recent achievements and tireless involvement in supporting communities across Canada.
Roseann O’Reilly Runte
President & Vice-Chancellor