September 29, 2016: In a first of its kind move in the field of academics in the Arab world, India has set up the Indian Chair at Egypt’s Ain Shams University (ASU) in September 2016.
The Indian Chair was operationalized with the arrival of Dr. Naidu Subbarao from the School of Computational and Integrative Sciences at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The Indian Chair will be at the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology and it will be for one semester at a time and can be extended by mutual agreement.
A MoU for the establishment of the Indian Chair was signed between ASU and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in March 2016 and operationalised in September 2016.
India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya said, “Despite civilisational contacts between India and Egypt, contemporary exchanges, especially in the academic field had been limited. ICCR’s vision to build lasting ties between our peoples provided a window. When we offered to establish the first Indian Chair in Egypt at ASU and provide one of our leading scientists to build the foundation of a new partnership, the dynamic leadership of the University responded promptly and provided the most congenial environment for making this a reality.”
Welcoming the Indian Chair, Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab Ezzat, President, ASU, said: “We welcome Dr. Naidu Subbarao to teach courses in bioinformatics for undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences. We are pleased to learn from his great experience in this rare field of science. We would also thank the Indian Embassy in Cairo for its cooperation with ASU and we hope to cooperate more with India in several fields in the future.”
Dr. Naidu Subbarao holds a doctorate from India’s premier technical institute, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, and was Jawaharlal Nehru Centenary Commonwealth Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds, the UK. He worked at Bose Institute Calcutta and was Associate Professor at School of Computational and Integrative Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where he teaches Computational Structural Biology, Computer Aided Drug Designing, and Chemoinformatics to postgraduate and Ph.D. students. Taking note of the technological advancements in India and the growing demand in Egypt, Dr. Subbarao will finalise the curriculum in consultation with Ain Shams University to meet local requirements.
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Dr. Subbarao said: “The academic environment is welcoming. It is an excellent opportunity to teach Egyptian students interested in computational biology and bioinformatics, and I am looking forward to interacting with the students to understand their academic level in IT and biology.”
The branch of bioinformatics at ASU will provide an opportunity to those keen on pursuing research in the subject. There are high expectations from bioinformatics to contribute to drug discovery.
The establishment of Indian Chair at ASU has opened a new avenue for enhancing academic linkages and youth exchanges. The Ambassador added, “We have entered a new era of academic cooperation. We shall promote the exchange of faculties, students, research, curriculum and more, thereby building new bridges linking our emergent societies and providing new opportunities to our youth.”
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ICCR has been offering 27 scholarship for Egyptians in the higher studies in at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels, CV Raman Fellowships for post-doctoral research and 110 Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) scholarships annually at the prestigious universities and institutes in India.
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About Ain Shams University
It is a beacon for high-quality education in Egypt and a crucible for the political leadership.
It is the third largest Egyptian university, founded in July 1950.
ASU is well known for its leading role in developing strong cultural ethos, inculcating scientific temperament, enriching human knowledge and promoting political participation among the youth.
The prestigious University has 15 faculties in arts, sciences, management, and technology; has two institutes in Nursing and Medicine and hosts the Ain Shams Specialized Hospital.
Recently, ASU commenced the teaching of Hindi and use of Devanagari script in its Faculty of Languages.
Shillpi is a freelance contributor at NewsGram. She may be reached at: [email protected]