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Imperial College London welcomes India high commissioner Vikram Doraiswami to discuss UK-India collaborations

The diplomat met academics and students and learned about some of the most inspiring projects that are currently underway with partners in India and how the institution is bolstering ties across various research, education, and innovation.

Indian high commissioner to the UK HE Vikram Doraiswami (fifth from left) with Imperial College London students and researchers at the College on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. (Picture: Imperial College London)

By: Shubham Ghosh

The Imperial College London on Tuesday (10) welcomed the Indian high commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Vikram Doraiswami, to discuss deepening ties between the UK and India.

The College has been growing research connections with the South Asian nation in fields such as sustainability, public health, and water management.

The Indian diplomat met students and academics at the College during his visit and learned about some of the most inspiring projects that are currently underway with partners in India and how the institution is bolstering ties across research, education, and innovation, the Imperial said.

Hugh Brady, president of Imperial, welcomed HE Doraiswami the College and reiterated the College’s ambitions for having deeper ties with India.

The high commissioner was accompanied by Amish Tripathi, the minister for education and culture at the High Commission of India and Shashi Bushan, second secretary.

The high-profile visitors met with Imperial academics, including Professor Ajit Lalvani, from the National Heart & Lung Institute, and several Indian students studying at the College.

Professor James Durant from the department of chemistry introduced HE Doraiswami to Imperial’s Transition to Zero Pollution initiative, which looks to inspire fundamental changes in areas such as exploitation of resources; ways of production of food and energy; and will help in mitigating the effect of air pollution on public health.

Professor Durant is also the Imperial lead for the longstanding UK-India SUNRISE programme, which aims to address global energy poverty through developing next-generation solar technologies.

Imperial academics are part of an international consortium working in partnerships to build five solar-powered building demonstrators in rural India by using local manufacturing supply chains.

Building on the programme, academics in Imperial Faculty of Natural Sciences have started working with partners at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru to continue to explore battery devices for renewable power.

Imperial’s School of Public Health has been working with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in support of the Asian nation’s Covid-19 response.

Academics from the Jameel Institute, including Professor Katharina Hauck and Professor Nimalan Arinaminpathy, have helped scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to carry out modelling analysis to address key questions that the country’s public health authorities have faced.

For example, early in India’s vaccination drive against the virus – the largest in the world – Imperial collaborated with ICMR to provide modelling analysis to help in the prioritisation of risk groups.

Besides, Professor Arinaminpathy team’s research has a major focus on the control of human tuberculosis (TB) in high-burden countries and they work closely with India’s National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme, helping with mathematical models to inform intervention planning to meet India’s ambitious goals for the elimination of TB.

They are also working with partners, including Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, the health ministry, and the Gates Foundation on a new partnership for TB modelling training.

The high commissioner also paid a visit to Imperial’s Energy Demonstrator where Dr Phil Clemow explained how the research and teaching facility helps researchers and students in energy network control technologies with state-of-the-art examples.

Imperial said that In the last five years, its academics co-authored over 1,200 research publications with partners at over 300 institutions in India.

Research partners include the Indian Institute of Science, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Christian Medical College, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and others.

Presently, there are 700 Indian students at the College, while in India, there is a community of over 3,000 alumni.

In 2022, Imperial formalised its longstanding connections with the Indian Institute of Science through a joint research and education seed fund.

It also partnered with the George Institute for Global Health India, New Delhi, to establish a £10 million NIHR Global Health Centre for Non-Communicable Disease and Environmental Change.

Last year, Imperial also hosted the UK-India Science and Innovation Partnerships dialogue with the previous high commissioner,  Gaitri Issar Kumar.

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