India’s first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence established by the European Union was inaugurated at the Department of European Studies (DES) at Manipal Academy of Higher Education here on Saturday by Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to India and Bhutan, Mr Tomasz Kozlowski.
“It is an emotional moment as I inaugurate the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. It is something special, a very prestigious award, but at the same time a confirmation of what the Department of European Studies has achieved so far. This Centre is a commitment and I am convinced Manipal will continue to make progress. Manipal and this department is an excellent example in developing contacts, partnerships and relationships with different European Studies.”
Mr Kozlowski congratulated the leadership, faculty and students of MAHE on this achievement and stated that Manipal has always been a pioneer in promoting higher education and research in international relations in India in general and European studies in particular. The award comes with a grant of €1,00,000 to pursue India-EU interdisciplinary studies in culture, literature, education and society. This is the fifth time that MAHE has been awarded grants under the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet initiative. Previous grants have been used for chair, modules and project.
Speaking on the occasion, MAHE Pro-Chancellor Dr H S Ballal, “Our continued success in being awarded competitive CBHE grants is testimony to MAHE’s research focus and capability. The Ambassador’s presence in Manipal reaffirms our belief that we are the forefront of providing an international outlook to our students.”
Under the present award, the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in India-EU Interdisciplinary Studies aims to strengthen and enhance the educational connect between India and EU. The CoE will host open-to-public workshops on European literature, winter schools for students around the world, and an India-EU Higher Education Meet.
Students at MAHE will also benefit from open electives covering topics such as ‘Watching Europe – Understanding European Culture and Society through Cinema’ and ‘Ethics and Epics – Understanding Philosophies of Life in India and Europe’. At the end of the project, the CoE also plans to release a book on ‘Understanding India-EU Intercultural Dynamics’.
Dr Neeta Inamdar, Head Department of European Studies made a presentation of the department and spoke of its growth from four persons in 2009 at the start to 40 now. Dr Neeta Inamdar expressed happiness over the selection of the department for the Centre of Excellence. She said, “Within a decade of starting the Department in 2009, this feat is achieved.”