Edinburgh Uni forges study links in India

University of Edinburgh academics embark on major tour of India in order to encourage new research and teaching links

More than 40 academics from the University of Edinburgh are to take part in events across India this month. Experts in medicine, science and the humanities from the university will present a series of public lectures and academic events, intended to help establish new partnerships with institutions across the sub-continent.

Topics as diverse as animal welfare, clean energy and genetics will be the focus of events in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and in other locations. 

It is hoped that by sharing knowledge, researchers will aid efforts to improve animal and human health in India – particularly in rural areas. Scientists also hope that Edinburgh’s expertise in low-carbon innovation can support efforts to harness solar energy in the region.

There will also be presentations on using gene technology, pioneered at the University’s world-famous Roslin Institute, to help to tackle disease, as well as discussions on the role of women in education in India.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh said: “As India’s population and economy grow, so too does the demand for world-class education. Our aim at Edinburgh, through visits like this, is to build and strengthen partnerships which will reinforce our position as the partner of choice in the Indian knowledge economy.”

A key conference entitled Nation Building in India, which will take place in Kolkata on 19 and 20 February, will examine the role of government in relations between India and the UK. It will also explore the role of women and migrant workers in the Indian economy and assess how treatment for malaria is evolving in Asia.

Professor Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta, which is hosting the conference, said: “Calcutta University, being one of the oldest Universities in India, has a long cherished tradition of academic collaboration with universities in the UK.

“I’m confident that the upcoming conference, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, will create further opportunities to enhance academic co-operation between educational institutions in the UK and those in West Bengal and the Eastern India region.”

The University of Edinburgh has a long-standing connection with India, with its first Indian student graduating in 1876. This year Edinburgh’s scholarship funding for Indian students will rise to almost £100,000.

The University recently established the Edinburgh India Institute, to encourage a greater awareness of India in Scotland. This included the University’s first India Day, in 2014, which was addressed by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the eminent diplomat and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

A blog, which will be updated by Edinburgh staff on a frequent basis, will provide a window on the various activities and events and can be found at www.uoeindia.wordpress.com