MSU to enter partnership with educational institution in India

Leaders from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and MSU AgBioResearch signed a letter of intent to partner with Somaiya Vidya Vihar, a nonprofit educational trust that manages several educational institutions across India.

SVV delegates with CANR staff

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Leaders from Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and MSU AgBioResearch signed a letter of intent Friday, Nov. 8 to partner with Somaiya Vidya Vihar (SVV), a nonprofit educational trust that manages several educational institutions across India.

Founded in 1959 by Padma Bhushan K. J. Somaiya, a successful Indian businessman in the sugar industry, SVV has become a large educational provider in the areas of science, technology, engineering, social sciences and commerce.

Today, SVV is operated by Somaiya’s grandson, Samir Somaiya, and employs more than 1,500 faculty members in 34 colleges and institutes in India, providing education to more than 39,000 students.

The letter of intent outlines several potential collaboration opportunities around sustainable development. Topics include soil health, probiotics and microbial solutions, ecofriendly packaging from agricultural waste, big data and precision agriculture, healthy food choices, bioenergy and renewable energy.

SVV representatives visited the MSU campus Nov. 3-8. The delegation met with MSU faculty members and toured various labs and facilities both on and off campus, including the Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

“It was an honor to meet with staff from SVV and learn more about how we can work together,” said Doug Buhler, director of MSU AgBioResearch. “Bringing our world-renowned education, research and outreach programs together with the expertise at SVV, we can take on some of the foremost global challenges.”

Leaders from SVV expressed their shared belief in MSU’s land-grant mission of education, research and outreach. In August 2019, Somaiya Vidyavihar University was launched on those pillars, bringing together their network of educational institutions under the university umbrella.

Samir Somaiya, chairman of the Somaiya Trust, is the chancellor of the university, fulfilling a promise to his grandfather to create Somaiya Vidyavihar University. The mission of the institution is to become a destination for scholarship for students from around the world.

“As our world grows increasingly smaller, our problems and solutions need to be addressed together,” Somaiya said. “It is my hope and belief that this partnership between Michigan State University and Somaiya Vidya Vihar will bring a fresh perspective and approach in attempting to solve many of these problems the world faces today.”


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