Our arms are always open for Indian students: Consul general of Sweden

Published on May 27, 2022 12:44 AM IST

Anna Lekvall, consul general of Sweden, Mumbai, was speaking on the first day of the ‘Indo-Nordic circular economy and bio-economy workshop’ held at the SPPU on Thursday

From left) Maan Singh Sidhu, coordinator of the project NordicsInIndia; Arne Jan Flølo, consul general of Norway, Mumbai; Karbhari Kale, SPPU V-C and Anna Lekvall, consul general of Sweden, on the first day of the ‘Indo-Nordic circular economy and bio-economy workshop, held at SPPU on Thursday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT Photo)
From left) Maan Singh Sidhu, coordinator of the project NordicsInIndia; Arne Jan Flølo, consul general of Norway, Mumbai; Karbhari Kale, SPPU V-C and Anna Lekvall, consul general of Sweden, on the first day of the ‘Indo-Nordic circular economy and bio-economy workshop, held at SPPU on Thursday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT Photo)

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the landscape in Europe right now. There are several impacts of the ongoing war and we are collectively trying to resolve this global crisis. For this, a number of initiatives have been taken from our side. There is a lot of focus on increasing support and solving the issues related to war. The other major thing we need to pay attention to is the climate and environment crisis created due to this war,” said Anna Lekvall, consul general of Sweden, Mumbai. She was speaking on the first day of the ‘Indo-Nordic circular economy and bio-economy workshop’ held at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Thursday. The two-day event has been organised by the NordicsInIndia in collaboration with the Nordic Centre in India. While the first day of the workshop was held at the SPPU, Pune, the second day will be held at the Bangalore Bio-innovation Centre in Bangalore on May 27.

Asked about the large number of Indian students who have returned from Ukraine and are now looking to take admission in other European countries, Lekvall said, “Our arms are always open for Indian students in all the streams; they are a powerful resource and for us, it’s a fantastic time for engagement. There are lots of opportunities for them, and we will provide all the possible help to them.”

The NordicsInIndia plan to engage Nordic delegations (researchers, companies and policymakers) in two Indian cities namely, Pune and Bangalore, which are being centrally positioned in terms of India’s transition to ‘green’. The delegations, in collaboration with Indian stakeholders, are holding this theme-based workshop under a sustainable, circular and bio-based economy. The stakeholders invited include government authorities (the urban development department, municipal corporation etc.), leading companies, and key research and technical institutes aiming to establish relationships and joint innovation and research projects.

Dr Maan Singh Sidhu, coordinator of the project NordicsInIndia, said, “The two-day workshop will also cater to the strong need to set up research collaborations among leading research agencies and universities from Nordic countries and India to develop the next-generation circular economy solutions and added value for the society that can be tested in local conditions.”

While Arne Jan Flølo, consul general of Norway, Mumbai, said, “We are facing global climate and environment challenges and we need collaboration to address them. One key area is renewable energy and green electric value chains. Another is the circular economy. In this area, we have to develop and adopt new solutions and technologies. Norwegian technology providers are sharing knowledge with decision makers in Maharashtra on solid and liquid waste management. There are also pilot projects on the reuse of construction waste.”

Dr Jakob Williams Oerberg, counselor - innovation, research and higher education, Royal Danish embassy, New Delhi, said, “We are faced with the double global crisis of climate change and an unsustainable global food system. The partnership between India and the Nordics will be central to the global solutions needed. Our scientists and technology providers will work with India’s world-class scientists and the most advanced Indian companies to create solutions that will be of global consequence. From the Danish side, we are especially interested in working with India on using biology to create new climate-friendly foods, new green fuels and to ensure that our waste is upcycled to new valuable products.”

Dr Mika Tirronen, counsellor of education and science, embassy of Finland, New Delhi, said, “The Nordic countries form a natural cluster for collaborating in India’s green transition. We share the same vision of a sustainable and carbon-neutral industry, and we have all made remarkable achievements in this domain in recent years. We are frontrunners not only in many bio-based technological solutions but also in climate policies and national roadmaps.”

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