TO PROMOTE better cultural interaction and boost cooperation between universities, students, academia and industry, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) will be the first university in India to host the Indo-French Knowledge Summit on March 4 and 5, next year.
Addressing a joint press conference, SPPU Vice-Chancellor Nitin Karmalkar and Sonia Barbry, Consul-General of France in Mumbai, said this will be the third edition of the knowledge summit, first held in 2018 in Delhi, and launched after French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India. Last year, the second edition of the summit was dedicated to higher education, research and innovation, and took place at Université de Lyon in France.
Karmalkar, who was a participant at the second summit, said the interactive sessions between participants made way for deeper scientific and academic cooperation between the two countries.
Initiatives in aviation, aerospace, smart cities, electric mobility, urban planning and architecture, agriculture and food processing, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and mathematics, valorisation of natural resources from plants, marine sciences and enhancement of employability and entrepreneurship were launched, he said.
Barbry said the Indo-French gathering will highlight the network of establishments that drove academic, scientific and innovative cooperation between the two countries.
“We have seen a sharp increase in the number of Indian students choosing France for higher studies in the last two years, owing to continued partnership efforts between India and France. The current intake of Indian students is at 10,000,” she said, adding that after the third edition she expected it to double by 2025.
The V-C said the partner countries were focused on many agreements to be inked during the summit that will be held in 2021 at SPPU. In 2019, there were around 15 agreements between French and Indian participants during this summit.
Like the two previous editions, the ministers of one or both countries are expected to open the summit, which will bring together high-level representatives from the French and Indian governments, higher education institutions, research institutions, enterprises and media. Around 300 to 400 participants are expected at the summit.
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