On June 22, 2017, the Centre for India and South Asia Research (CISAR) hosted a delegation from the Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute (SICI) to present an information session on research opportunities in India for UBC faculty and students. The session was conducted by the new director of the Shastri Institute, Dr. Prachi Kaul, along with remarks from the former Shastri director, Dr. Suchorita Chattopadhyay, outgoing CISAR director Dr. Mandakranta Bose, and incoming CSIAR co-director Dr. Sara Shneiderman.
Dr. Kaul presented detailed information about various programs run by the Shastri Institute in collaboration with Indian and Canadian universities. The projects range from short-term grants for travel and teaching across India to extensive research funding for longer periods. The projects are aimed at enhancing exchange of knowledge and learning technologies between scholars from both countries, Dr. Kaul explained. In past years, students and faculty from UBC have undertaken research projects in India focusing on topics like resource management, poverty and economic development, mental health, land use for agriculture, and Sanskrit literature, amongst others.
The event also served as an opportunity for Shastri alumni to reconnect with the former directors of Shastri Institute and CISAR as well as past awardees of the Shastri grant, which included faculty and graduate students at UBC from a diverse range of fields (History to Pharmaceutical Sciences) from different years over tea and a delicious Indian lunch sponsored by Shastri. CISAR took this opportunity to encourage UBC community members with active research interests in South Asia across the disciplines to remain engaged with the centre for ongoing events and collaborations.