Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

European Union Ambassador visits Odisha

25/09/2018 - 15:01
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Invites students and researchers to explore higher education opportunities in the EU The EU supports Clean E-Bhubaneswar project to manage electronic waste

BHUBANESWAR, 25 September 2018. As part of his first visit to Odisha, the Ambassador of the European Union to India, H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, along with the Chief Secretary and Chief Development Commissioner of Odisha, Mr. Aditya Prasad Padhi IAS, attended an event showcasing the Clean E-Bhubaneswar Project’s achievements and felicitated the program participants, here today. The event marks the completion of the electronic waste management activity under the EU-funded Eco-Cities project and a formal handover to the local authorities.  

While participating in the "EU Day" organized by the National Law University Odisha (NLUO) at Cuttack on 24 September Ambassador Kozlowski invited the students, researchers and faculty members to tap the various scholarships and funding opportunities available under EU-funded programmes for higher education and research such as Erasmus+, the Jean Monnet programme and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and collaborative projects under the Horizon 2020 programme. 

While talking to the students, Ambassador Kozlowski said “India is overall the largest beneficiary of Erasmus financing for higher education outside of Europe since the opening of the program to third countries 30 years ago. Under Erasmus+ more than 5700 scholarships have been received by Indian students over the last several years. Among the nearly 400 Indian students going to study in Europe in 2018 under EU-funded scholarships, 73 are flying to Europe this semester under the very competitive Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Programme, a net increase of 15% over last year's results which demonstrates the excellence of Indian students in this worldwide competition process. There is a huge opportunity for the Indian students, researchers and universities which they should explore. We would be delighted to see greater participation by students from Odisha."

EU Day at NLUO:  

Speaking on “Regional Cooperation for Peace and Prosperity – An introduction to the European Union” at the NLUO, the Ambassador traced the foundations and evolution of the European Union and outlined the main areas of the EU’s strategic partnership with India including foreign and security policy cooperation, trade and investment, and sectoral cooperation in key areas such as water, clean energy and sustainable development.

Ms. Friederike Tschampa, First Counsellor and Head of Political Section at the EU Delegation in New Delhi, spoke to the law students on the importance of human rights, democracy and the rule of law for the peaceful and prosperous development of Europe in the past 70 years

The Vice Chancellor of NLUO, Prof (Dr.) Srikrishna Deva Rao, welcomed the Ambassador and presided over the session. The Ambassador also met with Dr Achyuta Samanta, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). He was delighted to visit the KISS and KIIT campus where he met with students and faculty members.

Erasmus Programme and Odisha:

In the fall of 2018, 3 students from Odisha are starting their studies in Europe on a full EU-funded scholarship under the Erasmus + programme for integrated joint-masters providing them opportunity to study in best institutions across 3 different European countries.  

Over 75 students and researchers from Odisha have so far benefitted under the EU-funded  programmes. These students come from varied institutes including National Institute of Technology (NIT) Rourkela, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology and Utkal University in Bhubaneswar, Central University of Orissa in Koraput, North Orissa University in Mayurbhanj and Biju Patnaik University of Technology.

The EU-funded Erasmus+ program not only gives scholarships to Indian students but also supports Indian universities under a variety of cooperation programs, where Indian partners are taking an increasingly active role. Three projects for Capacity Building in Higher Education have been awarded to universities from Odisha. One of them will be the second one ever that is coordinated from India and not from Europe: by Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, leading a project on enhancing female entrepreneurship in India. 

Europe has 4000 higher education institutions, from top-level research establishments to small, specialized colleges, hosting about one-fifth of the world's students (20 million) and 1.5 million academicians. It is recognized as the leading higher educational destination for international students, offering both cutting edge education, value for money and rich cultural experiences. Every year, 1.5 million international students come to Europe, of which around 50,000 are Indians.

Cooperation projects:

The European Union has been involved in a number of development programmes in Odisha as part of the ever growing EU support and cooperation for India’s sustainable modernization. Some of them are:

1. The EU funded Eco-Cities project, implemented by IFC, has been working closely with Bhubaneshwar Development Authority (BDA), Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA), Odisha State Pollution Control Board, Chief Minister's office and others in supporting climate smart municipal services including e-waste management. Support has been provided in undertaking Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) transactions for public street lighting, rooftop solar in government buildings, low income housing in Bhubaneswar and the Odisha solar park. In addition, technical assistance is provided for rooftop solar replication in the residential sector, in the design and setup of a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority and promoting E Vehicles in Bhubaneswar.

2. Working with tribal women in Odisha: Improved Cook Stoves for Sustained Adoption at Scale, implemented by Care India under which 150 Sustainable Household Energy (SHE) Schools have been established in 93 project villages with membership of around 3500 women. (pls provide figure for only Odisha)

3. Strengthening the capacities of Civil Service Organizations, local government to address the fluorosis issue in Balasore district of Odisha under the project “Leveraging the Water Quality Networks for effectively connecting the needs of the most vulnerable and at-risk water quality affected rural populations to the National Water Quality Mission (NWQM),” Implemented by India Natural Resource Economics and Management (INREM) foundation.

4. By the people: Civil society organizations led by members of marginalized communities work on inclusive development. Implemented by Oxfam India, with the specific focus in Odisha being on Strengthening the leadership and abilities of 9 community led organisations (CLOs) to engage with and influence local development processes improving access to education, health and forest rights.

5. Access to Information on public schemes and services' (3 projects): Facilitating access to information to different Government Schemes for people in most backward areas as well as people living with disabilities. Approximately 40,000 people reached and sensitized on public schemes and services in some of the most backward districts in Odisha.

Background on the EU-India Strategic Partnership:

The EU and India are implementing a Strategic Partnership based on shared principles and the common values of democracy, freedom, and rule of law.  India and the EU are both dynamic democracies with a bilateral relationship going back over 55 years. The EU India partnership has been shaped by a Joint Action Plan, agreed in 2005 and updated in 2008, and is being taken forward by the Agenda for Action 2020 agreed at the EU-India Summit held in Brussels in 2016. The latest Summit in October 2017 has given depth and direction to this process through a wide-ranging joint statement which covers deepening trade cooperation, enhancing investment flows in both directions, and broadening dialogue and engagement on global and regional issues, including climate change and migration. Joint statements on combatting terrorism; clean energy and climate change, and smart and sustainable urbanization, were adopted at the summit. The EU is India’s largest trading partner, accounting for 13.7% of India’s overall trade in goods, ahead of China (11%) and the United States (9.6%).  EU exports of goods to India in 2016 amounted to €37.6 billion and the total trade in goods stood at €77 billion. The EU is the second largest investor in India (after Mauritius), with an investment stock valued at €51.2 billion in 2015, and is the primary destination for Indian foreign investment.

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