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McGill agreement in India places Quebec at heart of climate-change research

Published: 5 February 2010

Principal Heather Munroe-Blum signs landmark research MOU with TERI University in India

On Feb. 4, 2010, McGill University Principal Heather Munroe-Blum signed a research memorandum of understanding with Dr. P.P. Bhojvaid, Vice-Chancellor of TERI University in India, placing Quebec at the heart of climate-change research. The signing was also attended by Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chancellor of TERI University, Premier of Quebec Jean Charest and Quebec Minister for International Relations Pierre Arcand.

The agreement focuses on promoting cutting-edge research concerning climate change adaptation and mitigation, urban transportation and governance, and biofuels and bioresources. These are areas in which TERI University is internationally recognized as a leader and McGill already excels, so the agreement enables fruitful synergies from two research powerhouses.

Prof. Munroe-Blum is building on a budding but strong relationship that has been given a boost by the Quebec government’s India mission. She travelled to India as part of Premier Jean Charest’s delegation with a number of other McGill representatives. McGill’s objective was to continue to develop key areas where valuable, sustainable long-term research collaborations can be expanded and fostered.

The mission has been a resounding success, she said.

“McGill researchers are already collaborating with their counterparts at TERI University,” Prof. Munroe-Blum explained, “but this ground-breaking agreement will offer these experts an important transnational foundation for their critical work.”

McGill researchers contribute directly to attempts to mitigate climate change through their involvement in the UN’s International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), of which TERI University’s Dr. Rajendra Pachauri is the Chairman.

“This agreement is not just about great science – the research findings could lead to critical advances in tackling the effects of climate change, which is, of course, vital to the future of India, Canada, and indeed the Earth as a whole,” Prof. Munroe-Blum said.

In addition to this promising new framework, McGill’s Vice-Principal for Research and International Relations, Prof. Denis Thérien, negotiated further memorandums with four of India’s leading research institutions with a strong focus on areas in which McGill is particularly renowned. The agreements were signed with the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharward, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences and the National Centre for Biological Sciences.

In addition to joint research collaborations, the five agreements resulting from the India mission also provide for regular student exchanges and workshops.

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