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ֱ߲ research in India, and the links being forged with the South Asian super power, celebrated at two-day conference


From creating prosthetic limbs out of recycled bottles to helping tea growers in Assam tackle climate change, dozens of exciting and life-changing ֱ߲ research projects are happening right now in India. 

And this week, the huge range of work taking place between ֱ߲ Leicester academics and communities across India was highlighted and celebrated at a conference organised by the ֱ߲-India Research Hub. 

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Raghu Raghavan, Professor of Mental Health at ֱ߲, led the event not only as a showcase but an illustration of how beneficial it is to continue to forge strong links with India, both in research with other universities and in business. 

Academics from across all four faculties at ֱ߲ spoke about their studies covering such diverse topics as use of medicinal plants in healthcare, theatre in rural communities, 75 years of India Pakistan relations, the challenges of decarbonising India’s transport sector, the implications of faith, spirituality and medicine for mental health and wellbeing and gender-based violence. 

Members of the India-British Trade Council also attended the event, encouraging relationships between the two nations, who amassed $26.7 billion in bilateral trade last year, while noting that India overtook the UK in terms of GDP last year and will overtake several other countries, including Japan, next year. 

Professor Raghavan, said: “Making these connections with researchers and partners in India is critical for ֱ߲ and the city of Leicester. 

“Historically India is very much connected with Leicester due to the diaspora in our city. India is also a progressive and dynamic country. It is currently the fifth largest economy in the world, ahead of the UK, and in a few years’ time it will be the third largest economic power. 

“It is also thriving with a young population involved in research and technology and ֱ߲ should be sharing knowledge and showing we have something to offer, whether it is Biomedical Science, Health and Wellbeing, Engineering and the arts and humanities. 

“It gives all of us an opportunity to learn from a rich culture and develop a better understanding of how we can work together. It is all very exciting.” 

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Durga Palasseri, a second-year psychology student raised in Kerala, attended the event and said: “It means so much to me. I did not realise how much research was being done in collaboration between ֱ߲ and India. 

“It is so nice and so refreshing to see how people here at ֱ߲ value their relationship with India.” 

Dr Manjeet Ridon, Associate Dean International for the faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities, is among those encouraging and nurturing relations between ֱ߲ academics and Indian universities and communities. 

Dr Ridon said: “It is hugely important to build on our work with India. We have a civic commitment to the city of Leicester which, outside of London, has the largest South Asian population. We need to involve our wider community in our research with our students and academics. 

“But we also need to continue to share high quality research that benefits areas across what is now an economic super power and forge closer links. 

“It is also an event that highlights how the four faculties at ֱ߲ are showcasing their work together, taking an interdisciplinary approach. We are brining the whole university and the wider community together.  

“There are so many interesting and diverse ways that researchers at ֱ߲ are making a difference with their work and it is wonderful to be showcasing it here at this event.” 

ֱ߲ Pro-Vice Chancellor International. Simon Bradbury, and Professor Mike Kagioglu, Pro-Vice Chancellor Research and Business Innovation, spoke at the conference and praised the ֱ߲ research work in India, stressing the importance of building more opportunities for ֱ߲ and communities in India. 

 

Posted on Friday 24 May 2024

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