TAU to open Center for Israel Studies in Mumbai

After two successful conferences the relationship between TAU and two Indian universities grows stronger

Photo: TAU vice president, Prof. Raanan Rein

To mark 25 years since the beginning of diplomatic relations between Israel and India, Tel Aviv University held two joint academic conferences with Indian institutions this year. The first was held at Mumbai University in Mumbai, and the second with Jindal University, held in the capital of New Delhi.

At the conference in Mumbai a new joint center was announced: the Center for Israel Studies. The conference in New Delhi, which was originally scheduled to be a one-time event, was so successful it will now be held annually.

“I opened the two day conference in Delhi with the head of the Foreign Committee of the Indian Parliament,” said TAU vice president, Prof. Raanan Rein. “Among the attendees were TAU and Jindal University scholars, as well professors from other Indian universities, from Delhi and beyond. The conference was so successful that towards the end we announced it would become a yearly event. Additionally, the heads of Jindal University will visit TAU to discuss further options for collaboration, such as joint study programs and academic exchange.”

Teaching languages and culture

Prof. Rein opened the joint conference with Mumbai University together with the vice-chancellor of the Indian public university (in accordance with the British tradition, the vice chancellor is the de facto head of the University). At this conference the two universities announced a brand new joint Center for Israel Studies which will open at Mumbai University.

“This will be the second center of its kind in all of India,” said Prof. Rein. “The intention is to have a weekly event there that has to do with the culture, society or economy of Israel. It’s scheduled to begin operating very soon – in 2017. Mumbai University is also considering collaboration with the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at TAU, as they are gearing up to open a film school themselves. One of the conference participants, a major player in the Bollywood film industry, expressed great interest in the success of our school.”

Another tightening of the relations between the two universities has to do with languages. Lately TAU has begun teaching Marathi, the official language of the State of Maharashtra, the capital of which is Mumbai. Starting next year, Hebrew classes will be taught in Mumbai, making it only the second institution in India that offers students the chance to learn it.

“TAU is the most prominent and present Israeli university in India,” Prof. Rein concluded. “We’ve spent several years in developing and enhancing ties with academic institutions and private companies in India, and these efforts have begun to bear fruit.”

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