Delegates from Miles College, USA, at Ravenshaw University (below) in Cuttack. Picture by Badrika Nath Das and Telegraph picture
Cuttack, March 21: A 13-member delegation from the Miles College, Birmingham, USA, arrived at Ravenshaw University here today as part of an ongoing exchange programme.
This is the first time that the delegation, consisting of nine students, has come to Odisha after a memorandum of agreement (MoU) between the two institutions was signed in 2008. Today’s visit is said to be the first step towards creating a favourable environment to simplify the process of the exchange programme between the two institutions.
Led by director of international studies and public policy Ba-Shen T. Welch, the faculty members and students of the visiting college interacted with their counterparts at Ravenshaw University.
Welch said there was a need for exchange of ideas between youths of India and the USA, as both countries had been engaged in strategic dialogues for quite some time.
“Exchange of ideas and academic growth should be made at the college level so that the students of both countries get to know more about each other’s lifestyles, culture and education systems,” Welch said.
“The USA wants to replicate the development that India has made in the field of education and health care systems. Besides, India has a rich and vibrant culture, which makes it special. Also, its democracy plays a crucial role in development,” said Welch.
Welch had earlier delivered a lecture at Ravenshaw in 2009 as part of an MoU. Similarly, several professors and the then vice-chancellor Devdas Chhotray have also visited Miles College in the past.
“It is a great opportunity for the students of both institutions to initiate measures to speed up the programme as per the agreement which will be beneficial for them,” Welch said.
The visiting students also seemed enthusiastic about being in Odisha. “We are looking forward to conducting our research on various subjects ranging from politics and social justice to economics,” said Ronnie Garcia, a student of Miles College.
Ravenshaw University authorities said the exchange programme would help the students and lecturers of the varsity to explore new avenues. “We are planning to start a few programmes at Ravenshaw University. The exchange programme with Miles College will certainly help us in such endeavours,” said vice-chancellor B.C. Tripathy.
Ravenshaw has also signed an agreement with Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University, Japan, on February 28 last year. The joint venture aims at collaborative research in number of areas such as bio-remediation of urban wastewater and mine water, water quality, environmental technologies, waste management, computer science, electronics and renewable energy.