New India visiting scholars program created at SFU with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) on five-year initiative

SFU President Andrew Petter with Premier Christy Clark and Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk (centre) together with other B.C. post-secondary representatives: Arvind Gupta, UBC president (l), Lane Trotter, president Langara College (centre top), and Henry Reiser, president, College of New Calendonia (r)

SIMON Fraser University and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will establish a Visiting Scholars Program at SFU, after a formal signing in New Delhi on October 13.

The program’s aim is to foster and strengthen cultural relations by hosting world-class Indian scholars from a wide range of disciplines. SFU is the first western Canadian university to receive support from ICCR to create such a program.

Over five years, the program will enable SFU to host scholars in a wide range of disciplines, such as international studies, contemporary arts, business and world literature.

“This program strengthens our already extensive ties with India,” said SFU President Andrew Petter, who is in New Delhi with the B.C. Premier’s India mission. “Bringing leading Indian scholars to SFU will enrich our educational programs and research environment, while providing opportunities to further share India’s rich heritage and culture with the communities we serve.”

The program will build on SFU’s enduring commitment to develop and support links between the University, India and B.C.’s South Asian community. Since 2006, the SFU India Advisory Council, the first to be established in Canada, has helped to guide SFU’s strategy to expand SFU-India academic and research collaborations, including incoming scholars, initiatives for students to work and volunteer in India, and scholarships for Indian students to study at SFU.

Program scholars will help to facilitate cultural awareness and exchange, connect with companies and government agencies looking to develop B.C.-India programming and will be made honorary members of the SFU India Advisory Council. They will also teach and give public lectures, and help to promote joint research and writing projects.

The ICCR works towards establishing, reviving and strengthening cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries.