CIEC Presents: Synergy 2008

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There were plenty of power packed sessions that focused on institutions currently operating in India, their experiences and the Q&A which followed had questions posed by institutions considering doing so. The Panel discussion was stimulating with key questions addressed by VP’s from reputed Colleges and Universities.


Dates: June 2, 2008 from 8:30am – 4:30pm


9:00-9:05 am: OPENING REMARKS by Kam Rathee, President, C-IBC
9:05-9:10am: WELCOME ADDRESS by Hon. Roy McLaren, P.C., Chairman, C-IBC
9:10-9:25 am: INAUGURAL ADDRESS by Hon. Deepak Obhrai M.P.,P.C., Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation (TBC)
9:25-9:40 am: PLENARY ADDRESS by His Excellency R L Narayan, High Commissioner of India to Canada
9:40-9:55 am: KEYNOTE ADDRESS by Dr. Philip Steenkamp, Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities, Ontario
9:55-10:10am: SPECIAL ADDRESS by James Knight, President, ACCC
10:10-10:20am: EVENT OVERVIEW by Husain F. Neemuchwala, Chair-Education Committee, C-IBC
10:20-10:40am: ENHANCING CANADA-INDIA PARTNERSHIPS IN EDUCATION: Selective Reflections on Unrealized Potentials by Dr. Balbir Sahni, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Economics, Concordia University. Co-chair, Education Working Group (EWG)-Focus India, Foreign Affairs and Int’l Trade
10:40-10:55am: Networking & COFFEE BREAK
10:55-11:15am: SESSION I- Recent developments & updates from Govt. Of India by Shobha Mishra, Joint Director, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)
11:15-12:15pm: SESSION II- From the Indian Institutions perspective: Presented by Prof. Rajshekharan Warrier, Vice Chancellor, Manipal University; Prof. N R Shetty, President, Indian Society of Technical Education (ISTE); Mahendra Vyas, President, Indus Institute of Technology & Engineering (IITE) & Western India Institute of Aeronautics (WIIA) & P R Swarup, Director General, Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC)
12:15-12:30pm: SESSION III-“Speed Dating”, 1 minute self introduction of Canadian institutions and what they would like to achieve in India (affiliation, partnership, 2+2 programs… ). Responses from Indian delegation
12:30-1:30pm: Networking & BUFFET LUNCH
1:30-2:00pm: SESSION IV- A commentary from Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute & CEC Networks: Presented by Dr. Gary Van Loon (SICI) and Gardiner Wilson (CECN). Includes Q&A
2:00-2:45pm: SESSION V-Canadian Colleges in India. Round Table discussion featuring Durham, George Brown, Cambrian & Georgian Colleges moderated by John Manning, Sr. Policy Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities
2:45-3:05pm: SESSION VI- “The Edu-Canada Initiative”. What “Brand Canada” is doing to attract International students. Presented by Jean-Philippe Tachdjian, Deputy. Director & Trade Commissioner, International Education & Youth Division, Foreign Affairs & International Trade (DFAIT). Co-chair, EWG-Focus India
3:05-3:25pm: Networking & DESSERT/COFFEE BREAK
3:25-3:45pm: SESSION VII-“Legally speaking” Presented by Harris Rosen and Alan Wolfish, QC (Fogler, Rubinoff LLP) authors of the PCC act 2005, Annotated discussing the role & highlighting challenges of Private Career Colleges
3:45-4:10pm: SESSION VIII-Canadian Universities in India. Round Table discussion moderated by York University discussing initiatives and recent success in India followed by Q&A
4:20-4:30pm: CLOSING REMARKS by Kam Rathee (C-IBC)


Another informative session featured the CECN (Canadian Education Center Network) and SICI (Shastri Indo Canadian Institute) who talked about their work in India followed by a session that discussed work done by ‘Edu-Canada’, a new initiative undertaken by the Federal Govt. to promote Canadian education around the world, particularly India.


Another equally rewarding session for the participants was the ‘Speed Dating’ session where participants had the opportunity to ask questions directly to representatives from Indian institutions about partnerships, collaboration and how the two countries can work together. Tremendous work needs to be done collectively to address the somewhat confusing policies at the Government level to forge an understanding within the ‘Canada-India education corridor’ to promote Canadian education globally in an effort to attract and retain the right talent that consider Canada an education destination. Although much has been done, we still seem to be far behind countries such as England, Australia & USA. Suspicious paperwork and sometime inconsistent procedures at different missions attribute to the delay or refusal of student visa applications.


The C-IBC Education Committee headed by Husain Neemuchwala of ICE Inc. expressed a commitment to conduct such events in the future that promote healthy dialogues by inviting who’s who in Canadian International education. Some of the notable attendees at this event were representatives from

  • CECN
  • (SICI) Shastri Indo Canadian Institute
  • Hon. Roy Mclaren, PC
  • Dr. Philip Steenkamp, Dy Minister Ontario
  • ACCC represented by James Knight & Katrina Murray
  • FICCI and our guests from Indian Universities, Colleges and other NGO bodies
  • Round table participants including several Colleges and Universities
  • Ontario MEDT
  • Indian High Commissioner H.E. R L Narayan


The chief guest was the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency R L Narayan who dazzled the participants with his introductory and informative comments about the Indian educational system and challenged us to do more and offered the services of his office in that pursuit.


The agenda of the event was to foster an exchange of ideas through a networking event to further the interests of those currently involved in or contemplating involvement in the education sector in India. An exploration and sharing of opportunities in this burgeoning sector and to create an awareness & highlight each other’s experience about opportunities as well as pitfalls to avoid. It also presented an opportunity for institutions to showcase their programs & accomplishments in India.


C-IBC and ICE are in the planning stages of an India delegation in late Fall 2008 and are in touch with their Indian counterparts such as FICCI for exact dates around FICCI’s annual Higher Education Summit. More information will be posted on the C-IBC and ICE website in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for exciting times ahead in the dynamic and burgeoning Canada-India education corridor and although we have come a long way, we still have plenty of ground to cover.


A word of thanks also goes out to DFAIT, whose support was critical in making this event as successful as it was.


This ground breaking event once again brought together the ‘who’s who’ of Canadian education and established a benchmark for future events. Kam & Husain acknowledged the support of Dr. Balbir Sahni who was instrumental in helping put the event together.