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Canada, India can collaborate on education: Governor general

Posted on Feb 28 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, Feb 28 : Canada's Governor General David Johnston Friday urged the need for educational collaboration to build a fruitful relationship with India.

"India tends to simplify things and produce innovations that are cost-effective. Creating a strong innovation culture requires us to communicate and work together closely," Johnston said in a speech on "Driving Economic Growth Through Innovation" at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B).

The Canadian head of state also interacted with the students and faculty members during his visit to the IIT-B campus.

He answered queries ranging from encouraging entrepreneurship in academic institutions to the importance of formal education and collaboration with Canadians institutions for students exchange programmes.

Welcoming the visiting dignitary, IIT-B director Devang Khakhar said the institute has collaborations with several Canadian institutions and since January this year, representatives of four Canadian institutions have visited the IIT-B campus.

Eminent nuclear scientist and IIT-B board of governors chairman Anil Kakodkar felicitated the governor general.

Johnston later visited the Industrial Design Centre and viewed some of the design products made by the students and faculty.

He said he was happy to see innovations in design like a cooking gas stove for the blind, a solar cooker which doubles as a microwave and projects like affordable housing for rural and semi-urban people.

The governor general also paid a visit to the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Incubation Centre of IIT-B.

Another group of delegates led by Canadian High Commissioner to India Stewart Beck visited the Aakash Lab and witnessed the newer areas of application of the much-acclaimed Aakash Tablet.

Earlier in the day, Johnston joined a round-table discussion on "India's Education Future" at the Wilson College.

A distinguished academician and author of 24 books, the governor general emphasised how Canada can help India expand its formal education system through innovative platforms through high-quality, relatively low-cost higher education programmes.

Johnston was accompanied by a high-level delegation which included Minister of State for Sports Bal Gosal, Canada-India Business Council president and CEO Peter Sutherland and other top officials like Parm Gill, Deepak Obhrai and Beck.

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