Potential links with Indian universities and the current threats of the pandemic and climate change were at the center of talks between India’s envoy to the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University’s leadership, during a courtesy call last 9 November 2020.
His Excellency Shambhu S Kumaran, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the Philippines, paid a courtesy call on Fr Roberto C Yap SJ, Ateneo de Manila University president. Fr Jose M Cruz SJ, Vice President for University & Global Relations, also joined the meeting with the Ambassador.
Ambassador Kumaran conveyed readiness to help link Ateneo de Manila with suitable institutional partners in India, as the University expands its network of academic and research links across the world.
At present, Ateneo de Manila has linkages with two Indian institutions: St Aloysius College (Mangaluru) and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (New Delhi).
The envoy also expressed interest in the projects and programs being done by universities as a response to climate change. Yap shared Ateneo de Manila’s initiatives that have had measurable contributions in the field, such as in disaster risk reduction and resilience.
The discussion also turned toward COVID-19, and as part of the conversation the Ambassador conveyed India is prepared to participate in the manufacture and global distribution of vaccines, once it becomes available.
Kumaran is India’s new envoy to the Philippines, assuming the post only last July 2020. This posting is the latest in the diplomat’s long career in the Indian Foreign Service, having joined it in 1995.
Before his posting in Manila, he was Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Morocco (June 2019-July 2020). Prior to that, he held several posts in South Africa, Nepal, and Germany, and at the IFS headquarters in New Delhi.
He holds an MA in International Studies and Master of Philosophy in Diplomatic Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and a bachelors’ degree in English Literature from Kerala University. –