Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Columbia University to set up research hub in Mumbai

Mumbai will soon have a high-tech research centre, and it will be set up by the world-renowned Columbia University from New York. To be operational from August, the centre will house faculty and students who will work on projects related to sustainable development, energy, climate change, education, water and health among others. The Mumbai centre will explore possible collaborations on research projects with city institutes like IIT Bombay and the Mumbai University. “We already have university-wide research centres in Beijing, Amman (in Jordan), and Paris, and this will be our fourth,” said Nirupam Bajpai, senior development advisor at Columbia’s Earth Institute. He will direct the Mumbai global centre, which was formally launched on March 22, 2010.

For those interested in policy-related matters, health, agriculture, etc., the centre proposes to offer lecture series. “Our faculty can put together lecture series for academicians, members of the Parliament, civil servants and others on issues of global strategy, water management and education where India is grappling to find solutions,” he said.

The centre will, however, not offer any courses, nor will it grant any degrees. Though some US universities have built branch campuses and degree-granting schools abroad, Columbia wants to take a different direction with the global centres. They are meant to act as flexible regional hubs for various activities and resources meant to enhance quality of research and learning. “We’re not thinking of bringing a full-fledged campus here now. We won’t be able to do justice to it. Also, getting faculty will be a challenge,” said Bajpai.

Source: DNA, March 23, 2010

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