Saturday last, UCD held an Alumni reception in New Delhi, India to gather some of the 800 UCD alumni currently based in the country. UCD President, Professor Andrew J Deeks made his first official trip to India to attend the event, meet with alumni and to launch the UCD President’s Global Fund – India. The evening was kindly hosted by current Ambassador of Ireland to India, H.E. Ambassador McElduff at his residence. Also at the event Dr Conor Mulvagh launched the recently published book ‘Irish Days, Indian Memories’ and UCD presented an honorary award to renowned social activist Dr. V. Mohini Giri.
The key purpose of the reception was to strengthen relationships with the UCD alumni community in India, in line with UCD’s strategic objective to increase global engagement furthering UCD’s reputation as Ireland’s Global University. UCD alumni are based in over 165 countries worldwide, impacting on a global level. UCD believes strongly in the talent of its Indian graduates and their ability to play a key role in shaping modern India.
“UCD has a global network of over 235,000 alumni based in over 165 countries, over 800 of our alumni are located in India. We want to ensure that the UCD experience does not end with graduation, we want to support our alumni throughout their careers, building a strong and vibrant global UCD alumni network. We aim to develop a strong UCD alumni community here so that our graduates can benefit from the strength of the UCD network and connections” said Professor Andrew J Deeks, President, UCD.
In 2016, UCD plans to support three alumni Chapters in key locations across India in order to further strengthen the alumni community. The Chapters will expand on the UCD presence in India already established by the UCD Delhi Global Centre. The Global Centre provides a base for UCD’s development of a network of productive and sustainable partnerships as well as an avenue for Indian students to access a world class education in one of the top ranking global Universities.
“UCD presently hosts some 6,000 international students from over 120 different countries which help shape a truly global experience on campus, 350 of those students join us from India. UCD is committed to attract and support future generations of leaders from India. We are delighted to launch The President’s Global Fund – India. This fund will support UCD’s ongoing engagement in the country, including enhancing student mobility between India and Ireland, supporting Indian programmes and events, and assisting in the building of sustainable partnerships and strategic collaborations” continued Professor Andrew J Deeks, President, UCD.
At the first UCD honorary conferring ceremony to take place outside of Ireland, Dr V. Mohini Giri, daughter-in-law to V.V. Giri and renowned social activist was presented with an honorary Doctor of Science. On receiving the honary award Dr. Giri said, “I feel honoured, privileged and humbled to receive this honour from University College Dublin.”
The reception also saw the launch of “Irish Days: Indian Memories, VV Giri and Indian Law Students at University College Dublin 1913-16” written by Dr Conor Mulvagh. The book documents the story of VV Giri (fourth President of India) and his fellow Indian Law students attending UCD and King’s Inns during the years 1913-1916. Diaries, letters and college records reveal unique insights into student life and the Indian students’ reaction to the political violence of the period which inspired India’s own independence movement. On the launch of the book, Dr. Conor Mulvagh mentioned, “the book allows an insight into the journey that was witnessed by V.V. Giri and his fellow students in Ireland during 1913-16.”
While in New Delhi, the UCD delegation visited a local UCD Volunteers Overseas Education Centre, attended the signing of an agreement of collaboration between UCD (through the UCD School of Computer Science) and the Indian Red Cross with the Irish Red Cross, to facilitate three-way collaboration for the developing of digital humanitarian applications to prevent Tuberculosis in India.
The UCD delegation had high-level meetings in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT Delhi). The signing of agreement between UCD and Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) was also a highlight of the itinerary.