Indo-Czech Education Roundtable : Webinar

Aug 25, 2021

The Virtual Indo-Czech Education Round Table : Furthering Educational Linkages among Czech Republic & Tamil Nadu was held on Wednesday Aug 25, 2021.

The Webinar was organized by the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Chennai in association with The Southern India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) and the Czech Embassy, New Delhi.

H.E. Mr. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India were the Guest of Honour & Thiru. K. Ponmudi, Hon'ble Minister for Higher Education, Government of Tamil Nadu were the Chief Guest and addressed the Participants.

Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India, Key Representatives from Czech National Agency for International Education and Research, SICCI's Education Committee and representatives from the Higher Education Institutions in Czech Republic & Tamil Nadu also addressed during the virtual event.

Mr. Ar Rm Arun, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Chennai & President - SICCI delivered with his Welcome Address, mentioning few words about SICCI which also includes its support in organizing few events in association with the Czech Embassy, New Delhi. He also addressed about the presence of the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Chennai, about the Czech Republic and the Indo-Czech Friendship.

H.E. Mr. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India conveyed about having excited to the ongoing discussion, would like to appreciate each & every one who had taken time to participate in this Webinar and appreciated Mr. Arun for the tremendous work to bring together and discuss on the important Education Sector.

Conveyed that this Webinar is part of a follow-up process which we had put-together along with the Honorary Consulate few weeks ago and also in reference to the previous visit to Chennai earlier this year with ambitious in coordination with Czechia & TN in various areas. Both sides believe of encouraging, strengthening & deepening bilateral relations.

While few number of Czech based universities have already been able to find partners in Tamil Nadu, idea of this seminar is to increase awareness of the existing opportunities between the two entities, educational institutions, to discuss on various possibilities, on all ideas, suggestions and try to find out a common platform to understand the regularities to take it forward.

With the worldclass education thru Czech Universities, programs have been established between India & Czech Republic governments allowing to finance jointly developed projects.

Thiru. K.Ponmudi, Hon'ble Minister for Higher Education, Government of Tamil Nadu during his Chief Guest address spoke about the historical ties that Tamil Nadu shares with Czech Republic including about Tamil being taught in the Charles University, also touched about how we need to go beyond trade, investment & tourism and look at building strong links in the education sector as well.

Also spoke about how Tamil Nadu is known for its renowned Schools & Universities and the focus of Higher Education Department thriving towards associating more foreign Universities developing the Student & Faculty exchanges benefitting both Tamil Nadu & the Czech Republic.

He had suggeseted SICCI to prepare a roadmap and share to the Higher Education Dept., on how Tamil Nadu & the Czech Republic can work together. Also extended support to the initiative and will be glad to take forward the biletaral relations in the Education sector.

Dr. Thangam Meganathan, Chair, SICCI Education Committee & Chairperson, Rajalakshmi Institutions conveyed that Tamil Nadu is one among the States in India which has developed in lot on Education. Thru the government support and hard leadership, Education is focused as prime aspect especially Higher Education in teaching, learning, testing, quality which are equally important, but Research plays a very important role.

She also mentioned that collaboration thru Research is to be looked forward, offshore researching is taking Off Student's interest. Also the Faculty exchange will be more importantly towards exchange of experiences.

Mr. Jakub Tesař, Head - Higher Education Department, DZS - Czech National Agency for International Education and Research provided an overview about the Czech Higher Education and about why Czech is a smart choice for cooperation for the Study & Research programs in Europe.

International Students mainly focus on specific areas Engineering, Natural Science, Medicines, Artificial Intelligence, Bio-Chemistry and laser researches. Also mentioned about the Diversity of options from 61 higher education institutions in more than 20 cities in all fields of study. Over 1,000 degree programs in English and other foreign languages.

While talking about the exchanges with India which grows every year very strongly and over 1,100 Indian students undergoing Degree program, growing over 200% since 2016. Under Erasmus project, upto 20% of the budget are spent for mobilities to partner countries, also including India. 52 Inter Institutional agreements have been signed out of which 16 are from India. Also 30months scholarships are being offered to 5 Indian Students every year.

With the worldclass education thru Czech Universities, programs have been established between India & Czech Republic governments allowing to finance jointly developed projects.

During the Opening Remarks of the Panel Speakers Mr. Roman Masarik, Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India mentioned that the current Pandemic had seemed to be reduced which also allows to accept Visa application from Indian Students and as well Czech Students could come to India, bringing exchange for students.

Also conveyed that the Qualification, Diplomas & Certification from the Czech Universities are recognized in the India including Medical across many states of India. If students study in Czech language, the tuition fees would be zero for future Education but the condition is to study only accredited program, Czech language is similar to Indo-European language.

During the Webinar, Czech & Tamil Nadu universities presented about their various facilities and areas of interest to collaborate towards the bilateral exchanges.

The eminent panel representatives Ms. Annie Jacob, Co-Chair SICCI Education Committee & Director KCG College ; Mrs. Diana Kocábková, International Marketing Officer, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. Prof. Dr. S. Ganesh Vaidyanathan, Principal, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering ; Ms. Irena Havelková, VSB - University of Ostrava ; Dr. Rupa Gunaseelan, Director & Professor, Bharathiar University ; Dr. C. Sekar, Registrar, Alagappa University spoke about the Faculty / Institutions capabilities, strengths of their respective facility and also shared their views and expertises towards major focus on joint collaborations.

Ms. Annie Jacob spoke about to attract students for undergraduate and graduate programs. Also spoke about the collaborations thru Sponsorships provided both by CZ to Indian Students and vice-versa Indian Embassy provides sponsorships to Czech Students to India. Exchange of Vocational education & training, policy development and information exchange could also be focused and joint working on research possibilities.

Prof. Dr. S. Ganesh Vaidyanathan conveyed about looking forward for one-to-one interaction to create opportunities in Education exchanges.

Ms. Eva mentioned that one of the present Scholor from Tamil Nadu had admitted to Techincal University of Ostrava. Ms. Irena Havelková, VSB - University of Ostrava had conveyed that this University has an Innovation & Business support centre which encourages students to bring their enterprenual business ideas into reality.

Dr. Rupa Gunaseelan, Director & Professor, Bharathiar University had achieved many world rankings which also includes a citation award in India Research Excellence award during 2019. Encourage about the Research programs, suggested about creating database consisting Faculty, Expertise and the domain specializes which could be made relevant to Indian programs of Research demands. The Research programs are mostly held thru the Government under the RUFA Schemes.

Ms. Kristýna Čanigová a PhD Student from the Czech University currently undergoing Intern at the Czech Embassy, New Delhi shared her views on the Student facilities and encouraged more students to join Czech Universities.

Dr. C. Sekar, Registrar, Alagappa University briefly conveyed that the Institution has been steering towards Research Programs and been well recognized under the International programs.

Bioelectronics & Biosensors research programs in Biomedicine have good developments. A MoU has been already signed with Czech Academia of Sciences which also had a Professor visited from the Institute of Experimental Medicine, EU Centre of Excellence.

Conveyed that around 152 applications have been received this Academic year from International Students under the fellowship grant by GoI thru Indian Cultural Centre and Institute is in the process to facilitate in the Fine Arts core.

As part of recognition towards enhancement of Quality in Teaching & Research in select State Universities, Rs. 100Cr was granted thru the RUSA 2.0 scheme which also includes developmental activities to offer fellowships for foreign Students & Faculty members towards the collaborative works at the University.

While concluding the program, Mr. Arun shared his views and conveyed Ms. Eva that Dr. Ganesh Vaidyanathan, SVCE would look forward to have conversation with Embassy & some of the Universities. Similarly Dr. Sekar, Alagappa University also keen to explore further in Research programs, Student & Faculty exchanges and requested to provide certain inputs so that the necessary ties could be explored thru the Czech Embassy in New Delhi.

Nearly 75 participants attended this webinar including the high-profile dignitaries from the Czech & Tamil Nadu Universities. Mr. Vinod Solomon, Secretary-SICCI had effectively coordinated with the representatives of Government of Tamil Nadu and the various industries. Mr. A. D. Johnson Christy of the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Chennai, had well supported in coordinating with the Czech Embassy, New Delhi in organising this successful Webinar.