Launch of the Chanchlani India Policy Centre, University of Waterloo

Toronto, Canada - June 2, 2011 – The Chanchlani India Policy Centre, a joint initiative of Canada India Foundation, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and The University of Waterloo, will be formally launched on June 8, 2011 at a special ceremony and reception hosted at the Boulevard Club in Toronto, Canada.

The concept for The Chanchlani India Policy Centre (“Centre”) had its genesis when Vasu Chanchlani, Indo-Canadian philanthropist and Charter Member of Canada India Foundation, a non-profit public policy organization, expressed his intent to contribute to an endowment whose objective would be to acquire the necessary intellectual rigour for public policy development in the Canada-India corridor. “While there have been several academic and other initiatives to understand and enhance various aspects of Canada-India relations, a public policy research and development focused initiative had been an unfulfilled requirement”, Mr. Chanchlani said.

Canada India Foundation and Mr. Chanchlani quickly identified University of Waterloo as the most suitable partner for this initiative and, in September 2010, signed an agreement to establish the Chanchlani India Policy Centre in the Faculty of Arts at University of Waterloo, in one of the last acts of His Excellency David Johnston as President of University of Waterloo, before he took over as Canada’s current Governor General. As part of the agreement, Mr. Chanchlani committed to a contribution of $1 million and Canada India Foundation committed an additional $ 1 million, towards a target endowment of $10 million for the Centre.

Keeping the endowment target in mind, Ken Coates, Dean, Faculty of Arts at Waterloo found another reputable partner for the Center in Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a non-profit think tank created by an Act of parliament to strengthen Canada’s relations with Asia, which committed to match the contributions by Vasu Chanchlani and Canada India Foundation. "India, as one of the major economic powers of the 21st century, has to be one of the cornerstones of Canada’s Asia policy and we are very happy to be part of an initiative that will enable Canada to develop and implement a comprehensive policy vis-a-vis India” said Yuen Pau Woo, President and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

The Centre will fund India Chairs at Waterloo, Visiting Chairs for India scholars, Research Fellows, public lectures and conferences. "The Centre lays the groundwork for a new era for Canada-India initiative with active participation of the civil society through Canada India Foundation and Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada," said Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, "Waterloo is truly honoured to be part of the comprehensive effort to improve Canada's connections to India."

The official launch of the Centre will be preceded by a working session “Mapping Canada-India Research Agenda" with the participation of nearly 40 experts on India from across Canada, drawn from academia, government and private sector, including prominent Indo-Canadians, to establish priority areas for the Centre to address. “We hope that the subsequent and ongoing policy work done at the Centre will provide valuable input to both Canadian and Indian Governments to bind the two nations together, not only on trade matters, but also on a variety of areas of mutual interest” said Aditya Jha, National Convener of Canada India Foundation.

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 www.canadaindia.org.

About Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, created by an Act of Parliament in 1984, is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank on Canada's relations with Asia. The Foundation brings together people and knowledge to provide current and comprehensive research, analysis and information on Canada's transpacific relations. It fosters informed decision-making in the Canadian public, private and non-governmental sectors. The Foundation also provides grants to support policy research and informed discussion on Canada’s relations with Asia. For details, go to www.asiapacific.ca

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 www.uwaterloo.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Kalyan Sundaram, Executive Director, Canada India Foundation, (416) 779-5237 or ksundaram@canadaindia.com

Douglas Goold, Director, National Conversation on Asia and Senior Editor, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, (416) 350-5883 or douglas.goold@asiapacific.ca

Martin Van Nierop, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo, 519-888-4881 or vanierop@connect.uwaterloo.ca

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