Canada India Foundation and Waterloo sign multi-million-dollar endowment MOU

TORONTO, Nov. 10 /CNW/ - The University of Waterloo and the Canada India Foundation (CIF) announced today a first-of-its-kind joint initiative for the advancement of Canada's research capacity in studying the politics, economy and social conditions of contemporary India and bi-lateral relationship of both countries through a planned establishment of a $10-million endowment.

In a memorandum of understanding with Waterloo, CIF will contribute up to $2 million to launch the India initiative, formally named Chanchlani India Policy Consortium, under the CIF banner. The CIF contribution will help establish a $10-million endowment, with donations to be raised from government and other private sources.

"We are extremely proud of our new partnership with Canada India Foundation and through this joint initiative, we hope to produce leading research that will strengthen our understanding of India, its politics, economy and culture," said Waterloo President David Johnston.

The money will fund endowed CIF Chairs for Waterloo faculty members, Visiting Chairs for India scholars, CIF Fellows, graduate student fellowships, public lectures, conferences and engagement with researchers and faculty at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

"The overarching objective is to support the formulation of public policy favourable to stronger and mutually beneficial bilateral relations, a function that no public or private institution has undertaken to date with such resource commitment and focus," said Aditya Jha, CIF National Convener. "CIF and University of Waterloo will work with the Government of India and private Indian donors to set-up a similar research centre in India."

"The University of Waterloo's partnership with the Canada India Foundation lays the groundwork for a new era for Canada-India initiative with active participation of the civil society through CIF," said Ken Coates, Dean of Arts at Waterloo. "CIF's partnership and investment will greatly expand Canadian understanding of India realities and to support public policy research and advocacy on the Canada-India relationship and mutually beneficial engagement. Waterloo is truly honoured to be part of the comprehensive effort to improve Canada's connections to India."

"I am pleased to be the seed contributor with additional $1 million funding to CIF for this excellent research initiative, which will add tremendous intellectual bandwidth to Canada India Foundation's public policy advocacy objectives in helping the mutual interests of Canada and India," said Vasdev Chanchlani, CIF founding member and co-founder of the Sigma Group of companies.

Ramesh Chotai, Chair of Canada India Foundation, said: "Since its formation, CIF has been dedicated to cultivating support for stronger bi-lateral relations. In the University of Waterloo, we have a credible and established partner that will channel our combined research efforts to support CIF's advocacy functions for mutual benefits of both Canada and India."

About Canada India Foundation

Canada India Foundation is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization established in 2007 to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on the changing face of India and to increase the participation of Indo-Canadians in the public policy process in Canada. CIF's founding members include entrepreneurs, senior Canadian business executives and top tier professionals. For more details, go to

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 28,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For further details, visit


For further information: For further information: Manoj Pundit, Spokesperson, Canada India Foundation, (416) 816-0841 or; Martin Van Nierop, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo, (519) 888-4881

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