EXPERTS FROM the University of Birmingham will do a comparative study on the incidence of cancer among women in Punjab and the Punjab diaspora settled in the United Kingdom. The university will also have a partnership with the Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC) to help the city become sustainable. Punjab-Birmingham Women’s Cancer Genomics Workshop will be held in New Delhi, where key partners from India and the UK would discuss establishing a cohort study to examine the factors causing the three most common cancers in women – breast, cervical and ovarian – in the Punjab region. Understanding how the cancers emerge in Indian patients will help to diagnose and prevent the disease in susceptible families. Improved risk-prediction models may allow cost-effective population-based screening and early detection programmes.
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Cases of breast cancer among women in the UK have been increasing at a significant rate and Punjab also has a high rate of cancer patients. “We will do a comparative study on the cancer problem being faced by the women of Punjab. The objective is to find out whether the rise in cancer among women from Punjab is due to the genetic, hormones or due to the surrounding conditions of environment, water and other aspects,” said Professor Robin Mason, pro-vice-chancellor (international), University of Birmingham.
Research specialists from Birmingham and Chandigarh will exchange technology to solve waste and water management problems in both countries. “UK has had historic air pollution problems due to the setting up of heavy industries and hazardous waste that is released. We will work towards implementing stricter standards of better technology between the two countries. Focus will be on cleaner engines in cars, adapting people’s behaviour encouraging them to recycle more,” added Mason.
The University of Birmingham, which has a strong hold in Rail Transportation, is looking forward to help India and especially Chandigarh build a solid rail transport as the partnership includes sharing of technology, innovations and ideas to help local people. “We have worked internationally when it comes to rail networks. Just recently, we finished a rail link in Guangzhou, China, and have also worked with the municipal government for various projects pertaining to railways. Currently, 130 researchers are working on the subject of railways and we would like to help our partners in the implementation of Metro in the city,” stated Mason.
Experts in infection and microbiology discussed joint research opportunities that could help tackle issues such as the causes of antimicrobial resistance. India is the world’s largest consumer of antibiotics and faces significant problems with such drugs fast losing their power to heal. According to Vice Chancellor, Professor Arun Kumar Grover, the objective was to help Chandigarh institutions compete with the best nationally and gain recognition to attract corporate participation in higher education.
He said: “The British Council’s initiative to promote collaboration between CRIKC institutions and UK universities, particularly in the Midlands region, has enabled us to learn the best practice at international level. It has made us aware of the need and importance of working in synergy with the local administration to promote the development agenda set by the government.”
Added Grover, “The MoU signed between CRIKC and UT Administration to realise the targets of the Smart City project for Chandigarh is the consequence of a joint visit by CRIKC academicians and UT officials to the universities of Birmingham and Nottingham and the office of the City Council of Nottingham.”