New agreements open doors for Canada-India academic collaboration
Roorkee (The Hawk): Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee has signed an agreement with the University of Alberta, Canada, to provide Joint Doctoral Degree Programs (JDPs). Under this collaboration, the JDPs create a two-way flow for academic exchange, giving UAlberta and IIT students the chance to undertake research at the partner institution for six months up to a year and providing them with international experience and special certification upon graduation.
IIT Roorkee is one of the three IITs partnering to provide Indian and Canadian students with JDPs others being IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur. Under the program, each collaborating institution will admit up to a maximum of two (2) Joint Degree students each academic year for the Joint Degree Program.
Elated with the alliance, Prof. Ajit Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, said "This agreement will begin a new chapter in strengthening India-Canada ties in the education sector. IIT Roorkee looks forward to bolster and formalize our long-standing research collaboration with UAlberta since the 1980s. Apart from improving the quality of exposure of our students, the JDP agreement will hopefully catapult our research collaboration to greater heights"
During their JDPs, collaborating professors from UAlberta and the IITs will serve as joint supervisors, identifying research projects for students to pursue during their doctoral studies. Both UAlberta and participating IITs have agreed to create doctoral fellowships that will provide financial support in the form of a monthly stipend to cover the cost of accommodation and meals for JDP students during the duration of their visit.
Taking note of the benefits, Dr. David H. Turpin, President, UAlberta said "These programs create new opportunities to equip doctoral students with perspectives and skills that will benefit a global society. When we connect with leading international institutions such as the IITs, we're fuelling new capacity for teaching, learning, and research."
While many other countries around the world have found success in strengthening their collaborations with the IITs through JDPs, UAlberta is the only Canadian university to have established such programs at this time.
"The University of Alberta's overall relationship with India is of key importance and a high priority in achieving innovative solutions to global issues," said Dr. Cen Huang, Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (International) at UAlberta. "I am encouraged that the launch of the Joint Degree Programs with IITs Bombay, Kharagpur and Roorkee will help further establish academic relations with India in Canada and allow our students to enhance their global learning and perspectives."
"In recent times, our academic collaboration with UAlberta, is witnessing a progressive exchange of students and faculty. This agreement will ensure a stable avenue for the aspiring scholars as well as for established researchers having an overlap with the research interests of UAlberta. The thrust will be given on providing adequate advice and support to the Joint Degree students for seamless study during the course"said Prof. P Arumugam, (Dean of International Relations), IIT Roorkee.
UAlberta has a rich history of academic collaboration with India, holding various partnership agreements to support academic mobility and joint research in place with IIT Roorkee since 2011, IIT Bombay since 2009, and IIT Kharagpur since 2013.
UAlberta is also fortunate to have several IIT alumni as faculty members, who have been champions for advancing relationships with India. Dr. Amit Kumar, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; NSERC/Cenovus/Alberta Innovates Associate Industrial Research Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering; Deputy Director of Future Energy Systems & Interim President of Engage India: Association of Professors, is an IIT Kharagpur alumnus and has been working closely together with the University of Alberta International to help establish the JDPs.
"Engage India was launched in April 2019 with the aim of promoting academic exchange and relations between U of A and India," said Dr. Amit Kumar. "Our membership has expressed considerable interest in collaborating on joint research with Indian partners as well as recruiting high-quality graduate students from India. The Joint Doctoral Degree Programs with the IITs will help us accomplish both of these goals."