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The University of Southampton

Ambassador’s visit signals closer relationship with India

Published: 4 July 2017
VIPs at visit of India Ambassador
Professor Colin Grant welcomes Mr Dinesh Patnaik and Mr Amarjit Singh to the University

The University of Southampton has welcomed a visit by the Deputy High Commissioner of India to help build deeper partnerships and collaborations for higher education, government and industry.

The visit by His Excellency Ambassador, Mr Dinesh Patnaik, comes during this UK-India Year of Culture in which both countries are celebrating a major bilateral year of cultural exchange. Professor Colin Grant, the University’s Vice-President (International), was joined in hosting the visit by Charlene Allen, Director of Student Recruitment and International Relations, and Southampton Law graduate Amarjit Singh, Chief Executive Officer of the India Business Group and the University’s Special Advisor for India.

Mr Patnaik received a warm welcome across four of the University’s campuses and experienced, first hand, the breadth of Southampton’s research, education and enterprise through tours of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton, the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, the Zepler Institute and the Winchester School of Art.

There was also an opportunity for Mr Patnaik to meet and speak with students from India who had the opportunity to share their experiences of studying in Southampton.

“It’s wonderful to visit the University of Southampton,” said Mr Patnaik as he completed his tour of the Zepler Institute, the multi-disciplinary research centre for electronics, optics, nano and quantum technologies.  “I was astounded; I didn’t expect to see what I saw, especially the high tech in the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute and at the Zepler Institute because photonics are the future, so I’m really excited.”

“In this UK-India Year of Culture, my main message is that we are ready for collaboration,” he continued. “As Southampton’s Professor Sir David Payne said himself, India has a lot of bright people and there is a lot of innovative work in the UK so you’re looking at a natural synergy on both sides which is something I’m continuing to work on.

“The UK and India are two countries with an umbilical relationship which is not just defined by today, yesterday or tomorrow but through history and this relationship will continue,” he concluded.

Professor Colin Grant added, “It’s a great pleasure to welcome Mr Patnaik. The University of Southampton is closely engaged with a number of leading institutes and organisations in India and we wish to grow that engagement further through a wide range of activities.”

The University will continue to build connections and relationships further during the upcoming delegation to India in September.

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