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Meeting 'The New India'

  • Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
    Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Vikas Swarup shake hands at the University Club. (University Communications)
  • The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
    The Indian High Commission, Queen's staff, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, and representatives from KEDCO and St. Lawrence College pose for a group photo. (University Communications)
  • His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)
    His Excellency Vikas Swarup provides a lecture on "The New India" to a group of Smith School of Business graduate students, faculty, and other special guests in Goodes Hall. (University Communications)

Queen’s University graduate students were introduced to “The New India” as part of a delegation visit by the High Commission of India to Canada on Wednesday.

The delegation was led by His Excellency Vikas Swarup, who was named High Commissioner in the spring. The visit marked His Excellency’s first trip to Kingston since taking office. In addition to being a highly respected diplomat and envoy, His Excellency is also a celebrated author – his most famous book, 2005’s Q&A, hit North American theatres in 2008 as Slumdog Millionaire.

During his day-long stop, he attended a lunch hosted by Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon, presented a lecture to graduate students at the Smith School of Business, and learned about Queen’s research priorities and the recent activities of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre working with the Deshpande Foundation in Hubballi, India. The day concluded with a networking reception hosted by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

“It was an honour to welcome the High Commissioner to Queen’s and to share with him some of the exciting research and innovation we are doing at Queen’s,” says Dr. Bacon. “We were very pleased that His Excellency took the time to discuss the exciting developments taking place in his country, and to elaborate on the opportunities for Queen’s and for Canada to partner with India. Expanding our relationship with India, and having meaningful international “at home” experiences for our students, such as His Excellency’s lecture, are integral parts of our Comprehensive International Plan and I want to thank everyone, and in particular our Mayor Bryan Paterson, who made the day a success.”

His Excellency’s lecture focused on the changing dynamics within the nation of more than 1.3 billion people. He spoke to the existing relationship between Canada and India, which he hoped to make “the defining partnership” of the coming century, and areas of future growth and collaboration.

"India is a very exciting place right now because it is transforming at a rapid pace,” says His Excellency. “In the new India, the most important thing is going to be partnerships. We have a massive requirement of skill...at a time when the world is aging, India has a young population and a youthful population...We are looking for partnerships with premier international universities like Queen's, so I think there is a lot we can do together."

During the visit by the High Commissioner, Dr. Bacon informed the delegation that he will make a trip to India in January to learn more about the work of the Deshpande Foundation.