European Union Ambassador visits Chennai

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European Union Ambassador visits Chennai

– EU showcases sector cooperation with India including clean energy and water – 
– Ambassador attends EU Film Festival –

– Meets students at University of Madras and visits National Institute of Wind Energy on Friday –

Chennai, The Ambassador of the European Union to India, H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, is on a two-day visit to Chennai on 4-5 July to highlight cooperation on clean energy, research & innovation, education and culture under the EU-India Strategic Partnership. In an interaction with the press on Thursday and with students & faculty of the University of Madras on Friday he will brief on all aspects of the growing ties between the EU and India which encompass enhanced cooperation on regional, global and security issues, close trade and investment links, intensified sectoral cooperation and growing people to people contacts.

In light of its commitment to battling climate change, the EU cooperates with India on clean energy and green mobility. Mr. Kozlowski showcased electric three wheelers promoted by the EU-supported  ‘Namma Auto Project’ that were launched in 2019 to promote the shift to less polluting auto-rickshaws in Bangalore and Chennai. Electrification of vehicles helps reduce the dependence on non-renewable resources and creates cleaner cities. In addition to regular dialogue with the authorities to create an ecosystem that promotes the usage of electric 3-wheelers among the drivers and customers alike, the project pioneered the process of registering the first set of electric auto-rickshaws in Chennai. It also collaborated with Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. to pilot electric auto-rickshaws as Metro Rail Feeder Service.

This is just one example of many activities that promote clean energy on which the EU and India cooperate since 2016 under the umbrella of the Clean Energy and Climate Partnership. It promotes access to and dissemination of clean energy and climate-friendly technologies and encourages research and the development of innovative solutions. Areas of collaboration include activities in offshore wind energy, roof top solar and solar parks, integration of renewable energy and storage, smart grids, biofuels and energy efficiency in buildings. In this context, the Ambassador is scheduled to visit the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) on 5 July and meet its Director General, Dr. K. Balaraman. The EU also seeks to contribute to India’s sustainable modernization under the Partnerships on Water, and Smart and Sustainable Urbanization, and the Resource Efficiency Initiative.

Ambassador Kozlowski will also preside over the Closing Ceremony of the Chennai part of the 24th European Union Film Festival (EUFF) at the Goethe Institute at 5.00pm on 4 July. The EUFF brings a selection of some of the finest and most riveting current films from Europe to a number of Indian cities. Having started in Chennai and New Delhi last week, movies will also be screened in Goa, Pune, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kozikhode until September’2019. Further information via the EUFF website.

Ambassador Kozlowski will interact with students and faculty members on 5 July at an “EU Day” at the University of Madras. He will discuss the evolution of the EU, its common foreign and security policy, and the growing EU-India cooperation across the various fields of common interest. Advocating for greater people-to-people linkages and exchanges, the Ambassador is set to invite the students, researchers and faculty members to avail the various scholarships and funding opportunities available under EU-funded programmes for higher education and research like the Erasmus+ programme.

Background

Erasmus Programme and Tamil Nadu: Out of 5800 scholarships to Indian students over the years, 506 Erasmus+ alumni belong to Tamil Naduincluding from Anna University, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, University of Madras, Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore andVellore Institute of Technology. The EU-funded Erasmus+ program also supports Indian universities under a variety of cooperation programs, where Indian partners are taking an increasingly active role. Ten institutions in Tamil Nadu are part of the Capacity Building programs for Higher Education since 2014. Europe today has 4000 higher education institutions, hosting about one-fifth of the world’s students (20 million) and 1.5 million academicians. Recognized as the leading higher educational destination for international students, it offers cutting-edge education, value for money and a rich cultural experience. Every year, 1.5 million students come to Europe, of which around 50,000 are Indians.