Nikolay A Listopadov, consul general of the Russian Federation in Southern India, along with his vice consul Michael J Gorbatov, held a brainstorming session at the St Joseph's College on Tuesday. They explored the possibilities of bilateral tie-ups between the age-old college and the Russian universities.
The Russian dignitaries said the friendship between India and Russia was not new, but henceforth Trichy would be added on the itinerary of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture. Though St Joseph's had a glorious history and it remained the "mother of all colleges" the scope of its students pursuing doctoral or post-graduation degrees in Russia is limited because of the language barrier. The college rector Rev S John Britto asked the participants, who were mostly the professors of the college, to seek a level of cooperation based on "where our strength lies." The bilateral cooperation could be mostly in the areas of arts, science and humanities, the subjects offered by the aided college.
Listopadov said several universities were coming forward to teach in English language in Russia. But an Indian student has to go through a one-year orientation course in the Russian language before pursuing any higher education. Medicine was one area where bilateral tie-ups could be forged, but then St Joseph's would be out of the reckoning, it was pointed out.
Termed as Indo-Russian Cultural Friendship Meet, the session was presided over by the college rector. It was attended by college principal Rev F Andrew among other dignitaries. The meet was organized by R Rajagobal, a St Joseph's alumnus and current chairman of the Indo-Russian Centre for Rural Development.
The timing of the visit of Russian dignitaries could not have been better as St Joseph's was one of the 11 colleges in the State that had been shortlisted by the UGC for conferring the status of degree-awarding college, and thereby paving the way to become a State University. Listopadov also wished the college well and hoped that it should soon become a State University so that many deals could be signed without involving the government authorities.
Earlier, the two dignitaries attended the inaugural function of the Indo-Russian Centre for Rural Development at the MAM group of institutions. It was attended by M A Mohamed Nizam, the secretary and correspondent of the MAM groups of institutions, and M Abdul Majedu, its chairman.
Dennis Selvan, TNN
Trichy, Nov 6, 2013