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SHSU Signs Collaborative Agreement With Indian University

June 27, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Patna administrators and Choudhary
(From left): Sudipta Adhikari, pro-vice chancellor at Patna University, watches on as SHSU assistant professor of biological sciences Madhusudan Choudhary, Patna Vice Chancellor Arun K. Sinha and Patna Registrar Vibhash K. Yadav pose with the memorandum of understanding for Indian media. —Submitted photo

Sam Houston State University’s first agreement with the second-most populous country in the world will allow the exchange of research and teaching staffs, joint research projects, joint conferences, and, eventually, student exchanges.

A memorandum of understanding was presented by assistant professor of biological sciences Madhusudan Choudhary to officials at India’s Patna University on June 8 during an official signing ceremony. Choudhary also presented a profile of SHSU to the audience, which included heads of the various departments, principals and university administrators.

The memorandum is the result of Choudhary’s regular communication and visits with Patna as an alumnus of the university, according to Jesse Starkey, study abroad coordinator in the Office of International Programs.

“Dr. Choudhary presented the Professor R. P. Roy Memorial Lecture at Patna University in 2012,” Starkey said. “He met several new faculty and students then, and through these interactions, he initiated international collaborations with two distinguished faculty members, Professor Birendra Prasad and Professor Ravindra Sinha, in the departments of botany and biotechnology and zoology at Patna University.

“The outcomes of these collaborations led to the agreement between the two universities,” she said.

Patna University is one of the century-old premier institutions of higher education in India. It has 50,000 students, more than 10 colleges and several doctoral programs.

At SHSU, graduate students from India represent the second-most populous group of international students, comprising a little more than 13 percent of the international population; undergraduate students from India represent approximately 4 percent of the international population.

In the fall, 16 Indian graduate students and eight undergraduates are expected to attend SHSU, and Starkey said she believes the agreement will lead to a “rising awareness of the SHSU name at Patna University (and) may open the door to increasing these numbers, both at the graduate and undergraduate level.”

“While the new agreement does not directly effect the current students, it will open up an avenue for more students to come here, thus diversifying the student body at SHSU and giving our institution a presence in a new market,” Choudhary said.

“In addition, faculty members from both institutions can explore and collaborate on joint research projects, which would yield research publications,” he said. “Later, we can advance into a student exchange program between the two institutions.”

The memorandum of understanding also extends a relationship with the university that has already included a presentation at SHSU by zoology professor Ravindra Sinha on the “Conservation of Ganges River Dolphin in India” in April and a “productive” research collaboration between Choudhary and Prasad in the area of metagenomics of bacterial flora in the Ganges River, Choudhary said.

News of the signing was covered extensively in India, appearing in local and national media outlets such as Times of India and the Hindustan Times.

SHSU has similar collaborations with more than 45 universities from 20 different countries in Europe, Asia and South America.



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