India Institute Comes Up at University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham India Institute (UBII) aims to encourage greater awareness about India in the Midlands and the United Kingdom.
The University of Birmingham now has an India Institute with the aim to increase the visibility, impact and coherence of the university’s engagement in the country.
The University of Birmingham India Institute (UBII), launched on Jan. 29 in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, reflects the university’s extensive links with India, spanning over 100 years. The UBII aims to encourage a greater awareness of India in the Midlands and the United Kingdom, building academic, cultural and business ties with India.
“Its activities will include academic research and scholarship; teaching and postgraduate research; policy analysis and debate; collaboration with corporate partners; and public engagement in culture,” the University of Birmingham said in a statement.
The India Institute marks an important milestone in the long-standing relationship with India and re-affirms the University of Birmingham’s deep and strong commitment to engagement with the country, David Eastwood, the university’s vice-chancellor professor, said. “From reducing the impact of refrigerated food distribution chains, to helping make India’s cities more sustainable cities, our researchers are forging links with their counterparts that will change millions of lives for the better,” he added.
Sinha added during the event that the existing bonds between Indian institutions and the university will be further strengthened, and new links will be forged, to address local as well as global concerns through joint research and other collaborative initiatives. “It gives me great satisfaction to note the deepening and broadening of ties between the University of Birmingham and India,” Sinha said.
The event also included a cultural night featuring a range of Indian arts presented by the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, including the Yakshagana dance from Karnataka and Bhangra from Punjab, as well as classical dance forms such as Bharatnatyam and Kathak. The Edgbaston campus’ iconic clock tower ‘Old Joe’ also turned orange for the evening.
The UBII will help to strengthen the bond between the two countries, Lord Karan Bilimoria, the president of the UK Council for International Student Affairs and founding chairman of the UK-India Business Council, said at the event. “I am the third generation of my family to have grown up in India been educated at a British university, and it makes me very proud to see that Birmingham has put its century-long bond with India even further with the launch of the University of Birmingham India Institute,” he said.
The relationship of the university with India began in 1909 with the first cohort of Indian students travelling to Birmingham to study for degrees in mining and commerce. Since then, the university has provided education to around 2,000 Indian alumni, the statement said.