Carleton University President Roseann O’Reilly Runte has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the High Commissioner of India to Canada, H.E Vishnu Prakash, to renew a visiting India Chair in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences focused on India-related studies at Carleton’s Canada-India Centre for Excellence (CICE).

“We attach great importance to our relationship with Carleton,“ said Prakash. “We have been working with Dr. Runte to build this relationship, and have seen it progress to include the Canada-India Centre and this renewed India Chair at the university. India is a very young country. As the world gets older, our population is getting progressively younger — 10 to 12 million people enter the workforce every year. We have to help educate and upgrade the skills of our young people. We are up to the task; we have great educational institutions. But we need collaboration. The idea is to imbibe best practices. In this quest, Carleton is an important partner.”

Under the agreement, Carleton will host a visiting professor in the capacity of a Chair for a four-month semester each academic year. The MOU will remain valid for a period of five years. The Chair was initially established in January 2011.

“The India Chair has proven to be a wonderful experience,” said Runte. “It’s an opportunity for us to build bridges of culture and understanding, and to have our students exposed to different forms of teaching. It’s very significant that the Indian government is doing this with Carleton. India has such a rich culture to share.”

The most recent Chair was Pragati Sahni, a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Delhi, who was at Carleton from January 2016 to April 2016. She taught a pair of courses, gave a public lecture and met with students — which are requirements of the four-month position.

The next Chair holder will be selected in fall 2016, after consultation with relevant Carleton faculties.

“The India Chair at Carleton is a testament to our commitment to India and a recognition by the Indian government that Carleton is a strong partner for them,” said Harry Sharma, manager of the CICE. “I am extremely proud to have this Chair renewed for the next five years. This will help us further strengthen the bilateral partnership and enhance the impact of our initiatives.”