High level visit from India

High level visit from India

Top image: Foreign ministers visit. From left: Teena Chauhan (phD); Srikumar Roy (PhD), Espen Barth Eide (Norwegian Minister of foreign affairs), Salman Khurshid (Indian Minister of foreign affirs), Sunil Mundra (PhD), Ole Arve Misund (UNIS director) and Archana Meshram (PhD). Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS. 

Wednesday the Indian and Norwegian foreign ministers visited UNIS where they met our four Indian PhD candidates. – It is important to further develop the collaboration between Indian and Norwegian universities, said Mr. Salman Khurshid, the foreign minister of India.

14 June 2013
Text and photo: Eva Therese Jenssen

Mr. Espen Barth Eide, the Norwegian foreign minister brought his Indian colleague to Svalbard Wednesday. The aim of the visit was to visit the Indian research station in Ny-Ålesund and visit the four Indian PhD candidates working at UNIS.

Archana Meshram, Teena Chauhan and Srikumar Roy came as PhD candidates to UNIS in 2010 and 2011 through a grant system administered by The Research Council of Norway (RCN).

The grants were one of the products of the 2006 agreement between India and Norway on co-operation in the fields of science and technology.

The fourth PhD candidate, Sunil Mundra, came on another PhD grant in 2011.

Important cooperation to be developed
The four gave a presentation the foreign ministers about their research work in Svalbard, but also about living in Longyearbyen, which is, as one can imagine, significantly different from India, at least climatically speaking.

The Indian foreign minister, Salman Khurshid, said it was important to keep developing the Norwegian-Indian cooperation in science and education. – We would like to see more Indian nationals studying and working at UNIS, said Khurshid.

The Norwegian minister of foreign affairs concurred. – We want to support further cooperation between our two countries, and the momentum created by the Indian PhD candidates at UNIS must be kept up, Barth Eide said.

India was granted an observatory status in the Arctic Council last month. The country also has a research station in Ny-Ålesund, where they plan to expand their activities.

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