Canada’s York University plans campus in Mumbai

June 19th, 2008 - 10:27 am ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, June 19 (IANS) A major Canadian university will soon open a campus in India, according to the leader of the visiting Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) delegation here. The 150-member delegation is here for the six-day `India Calling Canada: India-Canada Business Partnership Summit’ to promote cooperation between the two countries in the so-called sun-rise sectors: nano-tech, bio-tech, global warming, education, IT and animation, aviation, life sciences, banking, infrastructure, and alternative energy.

“Toronto’s York University is planning a campus in India. They are looking for about 100 acres around Mumbai,” M.N. Chaini, leader of the delegation, told IANS.

York University’s highly rated Schulich School of Business is likely to start operations once its Indian campus comes up.

“They have been keen to come to India for some time because of their Indian connection. I brought a delegation to this university four years ago which resulted in increased enrolment of Indian students. In fact, Indians are the largest group of foreign students at this university today,” he said.

Chaini said his delegation also held talks with Toronto’s Seneca College for cooperation in the field of aviation.

“Seneca’s School of Aviation and Flight Technology is highly rated in the world. We need their cooperation in skill upgradation as the aviation sector booms in India. We need skilled pilots, air traffic controllers and ground staff for the new-age aircraft,” Chaini said.

He said the Indian education system was still stuck the colonial mould, and his mission was seeking tie-ups with Canadian institutions to change its orientation.

“Education should not mean more marks. It should mean more employability, entrepreneurship and innovation. We want Canadian cooperation in fostering a culture of innovation in India’s educational institutions. India needs skilled people and original thinkers, not mere graduates.

“Look how BlackBerry was developed here - it was an idea in the mind of a college drop - out who made it a reality. We want that kind of ideas to happen in India. We want to establish incubation programmes (for ideas).”

Gul Kripalani, vice president of the IMC, said the delegation brought business people and educationists from the two countries together.

“Now it is up to the bride and the groom to decide when and how to marry. The IMC will take stock of how ties develop between institutions in our two countries - on an annual basis or maybe after every six months,” Kripalani said.

The IMC also announced to work with Toronto-based Canada-India Foundation to promote institutional-level cooperation between the two countries. Peter Sutherland, former Canadian high commissioner in New Delhi, will also act as a facilitator for the IMC in Canada.

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