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India House Leuven Newsletter, February 2015 – Issue 1

Our first year

The year 2014 marked the first full year of activities for India House Leuven after our successful opening in October 2013. These are some of the highlights of the year:

Lecture by H.E. Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri

From April 7 until May 12, India voted for a new parliament. His Excellency Manjeev Singh Puri, since January 2014 the Indian Ambassador to Belgium and the EU, gave a special lecture about the unfolding events. The world’s largest democratic election was reflective of major shifts in Indian politics and society over the last couple of years. The ambassador gave a captivating lecture for a packed auditorium, further strengthening the ties between Leuven and India

Gulshan Sachdeva: first ICCR Chairholder at KU Leuven

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and KU Leuven agreed to establish a Chair of Indian Studies, focusing on Contemporary India and hosted by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.
The first Chairholder was Prof. Dr. Gulshan Sachdeva who stayed at the Centre from September until December 2014. He is Chairperson of the Centre for European Studies and Director of the Energy Studies Programme at Jawaharlal Nehru University. His research focuses on European economic integration, Energy, India-EU relations, Afghanistan, Russia and Central Asia and Energy security. Gulshan Sachdeva gave a number of lectures on various topics within his fields of research during his stay in Leuven. His activities in Leuven did not go unnoticed and interviews with Professor Sachdeva were published in the newspaper Campuskrant and the magazine Knack.

BICCI&I Business Seminar: India & Green Technology

In recent years a lot of knowledge in the different fields of greentech has been gathered in Belgium and this seminar focused on the potential in this fast-growing Indian market. Speakers included Mr. Vibhav Kapoor Group Chief Investment Officer of IF&LS, Mr. Han Vandevyvere of VITO and Mr. Peter Vyncke, CEO Vyncke Energietechniek. We welcomed over 40 participants from business and research in the Town Hall of Leuven on 24 March.

India Today

Held on 1 October, this event offered a unique opportunity to get to know more about what is currently going on in India directly from experts on the matter. Wim Lauwaert (KHL) discussed recent political and socio-economic developments and Axel Goethals (EIAS) talked about the characteristics of doing business in India. This evening was the perfect introduction to learn to understand India today.

Upcoming events

We are committed to make the upcoming year even better than the last one and we will continue to organize a wide range of activities. We hope to see you on one of these activities. For more detailed information and updates visit our website our Facebook page.

7 March: Davidsfonds: “India – Een Duik in de Diepte”

In cooperation with Davidsfonds Academie, India House Leuven organizes a one-day seminar of the many fascinating aspects of India for everyone who is interested in getting to know more about the country. The programme is in Dutch and consists of the following speakers:

17 March: BICCI&I Seminar: Indian Talent in Belgium

India House Leuven hosts the BICC&I business seminar that takes a closer look at the Indian talent in Belgium and how to make it work for the benefit of both parties. On the one hand there is the growing number of Indian students completing their studies at Belgian Universities, and on the other hand we see a growing number of Indian companies investing in Belgium. In both cases cultural differences can be a hurdle and therefore this seminar will focus on the topic of Indian talent in Belgium

21 March: Lies Ameeuw: Lecture on Ayurveda

In this lecture, you can become acquainted with all aspects of Ayurveda: the origins, the basic principles and the underlying philosophy. What is health and what is disease according to Ayurveda ? The importance of nutrition, how to remain young and vital, the importance and potential of massage.
The speaker is Lies Ameeuw, Ayurvedic therapist and head teacher at the School of Ayurveda vzw Gent. She is working with Ayurveda for 20 years and studied in both northern and southern India.

7 May: Tagore Day

7 May is the anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Tagore is without doubt the most influential author from India and his impact on poetry and literature remains until this day.
A bust of Tagore, generously donated by the Indian Embassy, will be inaugurated and India House will organize a cultural programme consisting of several activities to honour the works of Tagore, so save the date!


Dear Reader,

We are very glad to present you this first Newsletter of the India House Leuven. As you might already know, the India House Leuven was started in October 2013 as a collaborative platform between the City of Leuven, the KU Leuven and VOKA (Chamber of Commerce of the Leuven region), in order to facilitate the contacts between Leuven (and its broader region) and India, more specifically on four fields of action: academic, cultural, economic and social.
The activities of our first year and the upcoming events, as presented in this Newsletter, highlight these fields and show equally that the India House Leuven as a platform seeks to collaborate with all the players who are active in India: we strongly believe in the strength of partnerships! Of course, the Indian Embassy in Brussels is a close partner, for whose support we are very grateful.
Hoping to meeting you on one of our events

Mohamed Ridouani
Deputy Mayor

Geert Robberechts
Coordinator India House Leuven

India House Leuven – indiahouseleuven.be – facebook.com/indiahouseleuven – @IHLeuvenEN

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