Canadian province scouting for educational ties with Indian institutes

Canadian province scouting for educational ties with Indian institutes

New Delhi: Canadian province of Saskatchewan is scouting for research collaborations in several fields including sustainable development and nuclear energy research with Indian varsities, Rob Norris, minister of advanced education, employment and labour of Saskatchewan said Tuesday.

“We are for collaborative partnership," Norris told Mint in an interview, adding that they are open to nuclear energy research with Indian institutes. He said a consultative process that ended up in a report has highlighted the significance of nuclear energy research.

“We have put forward a proposal to our federal government. Waiting to hear back. We posses some expertise (in this field)," the provincial minister said underlining that the century old University of Saskatchewan (UoS) will be of great help.

Norris, who is currently touring India, is leading a team of educational institutes’ representatives. They have already visited several educational institutes including IIT-Madras, University of Madras, SRM University among others. The minister and his delegation have already met 20 educational players in an academic roundtable at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi. Norris is scheduled to meet Indian prime minister’s scientific advisor Wednesday.

Norris said that as a state with huge repository of uranium, “there is a greater opportunity of collaboration in this area in the form of a bilateral basis between Canada and India. Some of the discussions are underway."

He said that his province has already 30 educational agreements with Indian institutes and they are exploring further opportunities “in the filed of post-secondary education."

David Hannah, associate vice president UoS said that his university and other educational institutes who are part of the ministerial delegation are looking for twining programmers with Indian institutes in the field of engineering, applied science, nutrition, sustainable development and climate change. There could be collaborative research in other fields like water toxicology, research on social impact of global warming etc.

Bob Schad, senior advisor in the University of Regina said his university has already some colaboration with TERI but they are quite interested about some tie up with TERI University in areas like Carbon control.

Hannah and Schad University of Regina believe that they can get more international students from India as well. “So far, Canada is out of the radar of Indian students as compared to the US, UK and Australia. In next few years, we hope to see a change in our favour," Hannah added. The Canadian province is getting around 400 Indian students every year.

When asked if they have any plan to open campus in India as the Indian government is trying to bring in foreign educational institutes, Hannah told that most of the Canadian institutes are government run.

“You need a lot of finance but our institutes are facing a crunch. Moreover, India wants that all profit generated from the Indian campuses must be invested in India is not a good revenue model for us," said the associate vice president but sounded upbeat about collaborative research with India.