The New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) campus. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Breaking new ground in the establishment of stronger academic and cultural ties between the UAE and India, faculty members from Indian universities will spend six to ten months every year undertaking research and teaching social sciences in Abu Dhabi.

An agreement to facilitate this was signed on Thursday between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). The ICCR is India’s national institution that fosters cultural relations with foreign countries.

Pavan Kapoor, India’s Ambassador to the UAE, who signed the agreement on behalf of ICCR, described the initiative as “special” because it coincided with the celebration of 75 years of India’s independence and the golden jubilee of the founding of the UAE.

“The Agreement is the first to be signed between ICCR and a university in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]. It will contribute to strengthening UAE-India relations,” Kapoor said, according to a joint Press statement released by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and NYUAD.

‘Enhancing academic exchanges’

Mariet Westermann, the NYUAD vice-chancellor who signed the agreement on behalf of the university, said: “The relationships between the UAE and India are profound. As a university in and of Abu Dhabi, we look forward to playing our part to enhance academic exchanges between the two countries. We are delighted to welcome eminent scholars from India’s leading universities.”

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Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy, Sandeep Kaushik, the Mission’s point person for Culture, and NYUAD Provost Arlie Petters attended the signing ceremony.

“Through the partnership, NYUAD and ICCR will collaboratively appoint faculty members from Indian universities to the ICCR Visiting Professorship at the university in Abu Dhabi,” the Press release added.