- Holds Talks With Vice-Chancellor Prof Sudhir Kumar Jain On Possible Collaborations
- Invites BHU To Be Part Of Meeting Of UK Vice-Chancellors With Their Indian Counterparts Scheduled Next Month
VARANASI, 25.08.2023: UK Minister for Arts and Heritage and Department of Culture, Media and Sports Lord Parkinson has said that there is a range of possible and promising areas in which British educational institutions can get engaged with Banaras Hindu University. The minister was speaking during a meeting with Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain on Friday. He was leading a UK delegation that is in Varanasi to take part in G20 summit meetings. “India and Britain have had long time collaborations in diverse areas and I am looking forward to taking it further with possible tie-ups with Banaras Hindu University. It feels wonderful to be here in this great university”, said Lord Parkinson. Noting the strengths, expertise and rich legacy of Banaras Hindu University, the minister said multiple notable institutions in the United Kingdom offer enormous opportunities for other global institutions to engage with. Lord Parkinson invited the University to take part in a delegation of Chancellors and Vice Chancellors who are visiting India in a few weeks’ time.
The meeting was attended by top functionaries of the British Council, India, and senior officials of BHU. The two sides had a detailed exchange of ideas on possible areas of cooperation including theatre, arts and design, music and dance, traditional health care, leadership programs and others. The UK delegation acknowledged the immense potential of Banaras Hindu University and the opportunities it offers, being a leading and pioneering institution of India. The university suggested a battery of areas that could be explored for mutual engagements so that stakeholders from the two sides are benefited.
Welcoming the delegation on the campus, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain said BHU offers a wide range of disciplines for study and research. He added that performing arts, philosophy, culture, heritage, archaeology, and traditional medicine are some areas where BHU’s mastery is unmatched, hence, offering great opportunities for research and learning. “Banaras Hindu University has certain areas of expertise which no other institution has. We become an ideal place for study and research in those areas and can offer wonderful opportunities”, added Prof. Jain. He said BHU will be happy to host and facilitate collaborative visits of British Scholars, Experts and Academicians for the benefit of both the sides. Prof. Jain suggested that a leadership program developed by the British Council designed to train university members could be very useful. He said that theatre is an important area that could be explored for bilateral cooperation as well.
Alison Barrett MBE, Director, India operations of the British Council, said that the council has multiple ongoing partnerships with several Indian universities. She also briefed about the various initiatives and schemes of the UK government to partner with Indian institutions. Ms. Alison Barrett MBE opined that there is always scope of designing specific programs with educational institutions. Hailing the National Education Policy, 2020, she said that the new policy paves way for smooth interaction of Indian institutions with their global counterparts and it has now become easier to collaborate and engage with each other. She said that the meeting of British and Indian Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors scheduled for next month could be a very good opportunity for educational heads of both the countries to zero in areas of cooperation and start working in that direction.
Jonathan Kennedy, Director Arts, British Council India, informed that there are a number of institutions and organizations that are working in the area of arts. He said that UK institutions offer programs in arts management which is an important area in the field of arts and offers bright avenues. He suggested that this could be a shared area of interest between UK and Indian institutions to work together.
Prof. S V S Raju, Coordinator, International Students, briefed about various international collaborations BHU is currently involved in.
The visiting delegation also interacted with students and faculty members. During the interaction students suggested areas where they could benefit from UK’s expertise and nurture their skills and talent.
The British delegation also included Hayley Raines, Team Lead, Cultural Diplomacy, DCMS, Jack Mattless, Assistant Private Secretary to Lord Parkinson, Paramita Chaudhuri, Senior Program Manager, British Council India, and Sonjuhi Negi, Country Communications Manager, British Council India.
From BHU, Prof. Shashi Kumar, Dean, Faculty of Performing Arts, Prof. Rajesh Shah, Prof. Pravin Uddhav, Prof. Sangeeta Pandit, Prof. B C Kapri, Dr. Vidhi Naagar, and Brig. (Retd.) Narinder Singh, Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, took part in the discussions.