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Engaging Canada and India

NEWS RELEASE: Launch of Engaging Canada in India Series

September 9th, 2011 - Delhi
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission to India, launched Engaging Canada in India 2011-2012.

The inaugural Engaging Canada event took place at the India International Centre Annexe in New Delhi. The theme of this highly successful event was "Harnessing Social Capital for Economic Gains". The meeting brought together representatives from multiple sectors of society focused on maximizing mutual benefits from India-Canada collaborations.

His Excellency Stewart Beck (High Commissioner of Canada to India) delivered the keynote address after Dr. Braj Sinha (President, Shastri Indo- Canadian Institute) inaugurated the event and welcomed the distinguished speakers and guests. Mr. Beck highlighted the importance of strategic collaboration between Canada and India, and possibilities in the areas of energy and food security as well as intellectual property. Mr. Beck also remarked on Canada’s economic stability during the recession, pointing out the perseverance and continuation of financial institutions during this time.

The event was co-chaired by Prof. Shanthi Johnson (Secretary- Treasurer, Shastri Indo- Canadian Institute). Other eminent speakers at the Engaging Canada event included Dr. R. Chidambram (Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India), Dr. Ved Prakash (Chairman, UGC), Mr. Simon Cridland (Head- Advocacy, Canadian High Commission), Dr. Vijaya Katti (Professor, IIFT), and Dr. Subhabrata Basu (Chair, Mumabi Regional Council, ICBC). The event was concluded by Dr. Ranbir Singh (Vice President, Shastri Indo- Canadian Institute).

The Engaging Canada series is a new initiative of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute to bring together representatives and stakeholders from multiple sectors of society. The explicit purpose of these events is to explore means by which to capitalize on intellectual, scientific, and economic resources of India and Canada to promote mutually beneficial bi-national educational and trade relationships. In partnership with the Canadian High Commission in India, The Shastri Institute will be organizing series of regional Engaging Canada events across India with the aim of further creating and strengthening linkages among the academic, government, and business sectors as well as NGOs of the two countries.
December 1, 2011 - Pondicherry

The first of the two 'Engaging Canada' events took place at Pondicherry University. The event was geared towards student researchers and faculty members. The program was informative and very inspirational, provoking lively discussion and inquiry. 

The program was inaugurated by Prof. T. S. Naidu, Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Pondicherry University who welcomed all dignitaries and participants in attendance. Prof. D. Sambanthan, Dean School of Social Sciences and International Studies, Pondicherry University, delivered the presidential address, in which he discussed the historical relationship between India and Canada both socially and politically. He encouraged the engagement of young researchers in India-Canada social development work.

Shastri President, Dr. Braj Sinha, delivered the keynote addres s. He also called out to the youth describing the importance of new research in the areas of humanities and social sciences in Canada.


Ms. Subha Sundararajan, Trade Commissioner, Consulate of Canada discussed trade and commerce between India and Canada as well as the role of Canadian Consulate.


Mr. Chanchal Sinha, Director of Shastri Indo Canadian Institute, New Delhi, concluded the presentations by providing an overview of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute and the grant programs and opportunities available to young researchers and faculty members. 

December 3&4, 2011 - Calcutta

The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute in association with the University of Calcutta, Jadavpur University and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, organized a two-day conference at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta entitled "Engaging Canada: A Multidisciplinary Conference".

The two-day conference brought together scholars from universities, business schools, social science and science & technology research institutions, as well as executives from firms and officials from trade organizations to discuss research work and linkages that have significance for India-Canada research collaborations. 

The inaugural session was kicked off with a welcome speech by the head conference organizer Professor Biju Paul Abraham of IIM Calcutta, and Shastri Executive Council Member-at-Large. He expressed his hope that the conference would lead to more productive research partnerships between Indian and Canadian Institutions.  

In his inaugural address, Professor Sougata Ray, Acting Director of IIM Calcutta, stressed the need for institutions from the two countries to work collaboratively given the increasing trade and investment links. Shastri President, Dr. Braj Sinha, informed delegates in his presidential address that this has been a significant year for Shastri, in light of the 'Engaging India' and 'Engaging Canada' series taking place in Canada and India, and the Education Summit that took place in June and that welcomed a delegation of 21 Indian Vice-Chancellors and the Chairman of the Indian University Grants Commission to Canada for discussions with their Canadian counterparts, which laid the foundations for greater faculty and student mobility between the two countries.  He stressed the need for institutions in the two countries to create knowledge partnerships for production, presentation and creative dissemination of knowledge. 

Among the speakers at the conference was Mr. Simon Cridland, Head of the Advocay Programme at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi. He discussed the increasing interest among universities and business schools in India and Canada for greater cooperation.  He indicated that new India-studies centers had been set up in Canadian universities, and Canadian Universities and Business Schools were in the process of setting up campuses in India with Indian partners. He identified food security and energy as two areas where the two countries could collaborate. Indian universities could also collaborate in the development of skill-based training courses with Canadian Universities. Professor Suchorita Chattopadhyay, Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, thanked the invitees and delegates for their participation in the Conference. 

Papers were presented at six sessions of the Conference over two days. The sessions were on Energy & Environment, Multiculturalism & Literature, Multiculturalism & Governance, Environment and Indigenous Medicine, India-Canada Trade Relations, and on Diaspora Studies. A panel discussion on 'India-Canada Trade' was held on December 4. In the evening of December 3, a Canadian Music group, 'The Monsoon Trio', comprising of band-members Jonathan Kay, Andrew Kay and Justin Grey, played Ancient Indian Raga music on modern western instruments, accompanied by the Tabla player Shri. Subhajyoti Guha. The three members of the band are Shastri Scholars currently based in India and studying with their Indian Guru, Shri.Shantanu Bhattacharya. 


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