December 22, 2008, CHANDIGARH — India’s Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) formalised a new partnership today with Canada’s University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) that aims to empower entrepreneurs in north India’s rural communities.
"We look forward to a very meaningful and rewarding association with the University of the Fraser Valley, and I am sure that between the kind of commitment we have, and the kind of commitment and initiative they have shown, we shall be able to make a significant mark in areas of academics and diplomacy in a number of fields, to benefit those in both of our nations," said Dr. Rashpal Malhotra, founder of CRRID.
"India needs entrepreneurs at the grass roots level, and our partnership with CRRID allows us to fuel business start-ups and the development of SMEs outside the city centres, in the areas that need it most," said Professor DJ Sandhu, UFV President’s Advisor on India and head of the industry-centred, Canadian BBA degree program UFV delivers in collaboration with Sanatan Dharma College in Chandigarh (SDCC).
"Everyone talks about the trickle-down effect, but very few people talk about the bottom up, which requires recognising and developing the local talent base, and then leveraging that asset base," he continued. "What we’re talking about here is recognising that asset base so rural businesspeople can become proactive, rather than waiting for benefits to trickle-down."
Sandhu says, for example, students enrolled in UFV’s BBA degree at SDCC will be able to work with research faculty at CRRID to implement projects aimed at uplifting businesses involved in such industries as agriculture and agrifoods.
The new agreement also lays the foundation for educational, research and cultural linkages such as delivering short professional programs for industry and community development, engaging in research projects, and the exchange of research scholars, research materials and students.
The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is a fully accredited, public Canadian university that enrols more than 11,000 students annually. The new relationship with CRRID further increases UFV’s presence in India, which already includes partnerships with Panjab University, the University of Mumbai, Manipal University, Guru Nanak Dev University, St. Andrew’s College and Sanatan Dharma College.
"Abbotsford has the highest proportion of Indo-Canadian people of any metropolitan area in the country. UFV’s role in connecting with and representing this huge, influential community group is critical to the future strategic development of the Fraser Valley and our province," explains Dr. H.A. (Skip) Bassford, UFV President and Vice-Chancellor.
UFV operates the world’s only Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, and enjoys overwhelming support from the largest Indo-Canadian community in western Canada (22 per cent of the City’s population, and one in five UFV students, has its roots in South Asia — the vast majority of whom are from Punjab). UFV delivers its highly practical, employer-driven Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Sanatan Dharma College Chandigarh (SDCC), and a dual Master’s degree in Panjab University’s Police Administration and UFV’s Criminology is underway. UFV also provided the founding grant of Rs. 10-lakh to establish Panjab University’s Canadian Studies Centre, which acts as a sister organization to UFV’s Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies in Canada. Once again, UFV secured the top spot amongst small universities across Canada, for highest quality of education and teaching, best student–faculty interaction and best career preparation.
The Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) was founded by Dr. Rashpal Malhotra and registered as a scientific and educational charitable society in 1978 to promote research, publication, development, and training in the northwest region of India. It is among the 27 research institutes in the country supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, and is the only one of its kind within Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and the UT of Chandigarh. CRRID was accorded national status in 1985 by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in recognition of its contribution to social science research at the national level.
Since 1985, the governments of both India and Punjab have supported CRRID with matching financial grants, and India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has provided 100 per cent funding for CRRID’s Population Research Centre since its inception in 1986. In 1998, then professor Manmohan Singh was elected Chairman of CRRID’s governing body and President of the Society; since his election to the nation’s highest office, the Prime Minister continues to guide the policies and programs of the institute as a member of the Board.
The Centre’s primary focus is to conduct socially-relevant research on rural and industrial development in the wider social and economic framework. CRRID is fast emerging as a think-tank at local and national levels, with active participation from academics, jurists, industry, media, bureaucrats, social workers and political leaders. The quarterly journal, Man and Development, joins a long list of books, reports and monographs released by its own department of publications.