New Zealand Minister Hon. Priyanca Radhakrishnan is currently in Chennai and visited IIT Madras. Minister Radhakrishnan is the first person of Indian origin to become a Minister in New Zealand, and holds Ministerial portfolios for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, and is the Minister for Youth.
The Minister was accompanied by New Zealand High Commissioner David Pine and Education New Zealand Director of Engagement for India Jugnu Roy, and met with IIT Madras Director Prof. V. Kamakoti and other senior officials. “The visit was a great opportunity to deepen educational relationships between India and New Zealand, and I’m excited about the great potential for research collaboration,” Minister Radhakrishnan said.
New Zealand has engaged in a range of projects with IIT Madras over the last few years involving research activities, faculty visits and academic collaboration. New Zealand Universities Auckland University of Technology and Victoria University of Wellington both signed separate co-operation agreements with IIT Madras in 2020.
Minister Radhakrishnan also visited the youth volunteer non-profit organisation Bhumi, which the New Zealand High Commission has supported to undertake a river cleaning and restoration initiative that will include clean-up campaigns in rivers in Delhi (Yamuna), Trichy (Kaveri) and Patna (Ganga).
Minister Radhakrishnan is also Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment, and was conferred a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award for public service by the President of India in a virtual ceremony in 2021.