Boston: Today, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) of Harvard University, Boston and the O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Sonipat, located near Delhi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand and reinforce their collaborations in three areas:
The first area where the two institutions will reinforce their collaboration is student engagement through an annual teaching session at Harvard for Jindal students. This collaboration has taken the form of an annual study abroad programme conducted at Harvard University for nearly 30 students from JGU. At the successful completion of the programme, the Jindal students will earn academic credits and the course will be reflected in the transcript. For the past three years, the Program on Human Rights in Development of the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has organized this study program in partnership with JGU on the theme of “Human Rights and Development” at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in Cambridge. The programme is led by Professor (Dr.) Stephen P. Marks, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights, Director, Program on Human Rights in Development, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University & Director, International Centre for Higher Education Research & Capacity Building (IIHEd). The MoU that was signed today at Harvard University has institutionalised this relationship and paves way for other opportunities of institutional engagement between the two institutions.
The second area of collaboration is through joint conferences on themes of interest to both the institutions. Two such seminars have already been held, one in January 2016 on the theme: “Delivering on The Promise of Universal Health Coverage in India: Policy Options and Challenges” and another in February 2018 on the theme: “Poverty, Human Rights and Development: Public Policy for the Common Good.”
Future conferences that are being considered under the MoU, include issues that are at the intersection of human rights, development, law, public policy, public health and governance. The Jindal Global Law School and the Jindal School of Government & Public Policy will be the principal partners to collaborate with the Harvard Chan School in these future conferences.
Third, the MOU opens the way for other research and educational activities mutually agreed upon between the parties, including but not limited to joint research projects, joint training and capacity building programmes and joint publications in the field of human rights, development and public health.
JGU was established through a generous philanthropic initiative of Mr. Naveen Jindal, who is its Founding Chancellor and benefactor. The vision of JGU is to promote global courses, global programs, global curriculum, global research, global collaborations, and global interaction through a global faculty.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. The Executive Dean for Administration, Professor (Dr.) Michael Grusby, who is also Acting Dean for Academic Affairs, signed the MOU on behalf of the Harvard Chan School and expressed his support to this deepening of the linkages between O.P. Jindal Global University and HSPH. During the signing, Dean Grusby expressed his full fledged support for the development of this pioneering partnership, expressing deep gratification that the accumulation of all parties’ efforts were able to come into fruition.
Mr. Naveen Jindal, founding Chancellor and benefactor of O.P. Jindal Global University, observed, “I am most delighted to learn about the collaboration that JGU has established with Harvard in relation to education and research. This achievement is a testament to the passion, commitment and dedication of our faculty and students. This year has been a fantastic journey for JGU having been giving the status of an autonomous institution by the Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India and for having broken into the QS BRICS Rankings 2018 and recognized as one of the top 250-300 universities among the 9000 universities in the BRICS region.”
After signing the MoU, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, O.P. Jindal Global University’s founding Vice Chancellor, expressed his enthusiasm for future collaborative initiatives involving faculty and students of the two institutions. “Our vision of excellence in higher education attaches the highest value to collaboration with other institutions with a similar vision and, having studied myself at Harvard, I am excited about continuing and expanding our joint efforts with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. JGU’s founding vision is to be able to offer world class education with a view to promoting institutional excellence in teaching and research. The collaboration with Harvard is an example as to what a young Indian university with a vision for promoting excellence can accomplish and indeed offer fantastic opportunities to its students and faculty. It is an example of our vision to pursue transformative education with a view to empowering India’s aspirations to build a knowledge society.”
The signing of the MOU was celebrated at an event held in Harvard Square and attended by some 60 students and faculty, including Professors Raj Kumar and Marks, who are taking the lead in organizing teaching and research activities under the MOU. Professor Marks observed, “The steady growth of JGU has been an extraordinary development in higher education in large part because of its constant focus on excellence and its commitment to global education, with over 200 collaborations in 50 countries. This MOU will facilitate Harvard’s engagement with JGU in this commitment to excellence and global education.”