Department of Social Work and Social Care


Sussex celebrates 50 years in India

University of Sussex Chancellor Sanjeev Bhaskar

The University’s Chancellor, Sanjeev Bhaskar, is leading a special event in New Delhi this week to honour five decades of the University’s association with India.

Mr Bhaskar, a writer and actor, is best known for his work in the BBC Two comedy series ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ and as host of ‘The Kumars at No. 42’. He also co-produced and starred in the award-winning BBC drama ‘The Indian Doctor’.

In 2007 he traced his ancestral roots in a series of TV documentaries and a best-selling book marking the 60th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan.

And this week he will be back in India for the latest events in the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

On Wednesday (15 February) the Chancellor will host a ceremony at the British High Commission in New Delhi to present honorary degrees to:

  • James Bevan, High Commissioner to India, who joined the Foreign Office in 1982, two years after gaining a first-class honours degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex;
  • paediatrician Dr Maharaj Bhan, Secretary to the Indian government’s Department of Biotechnology, who has played a key role in promoting health care for children in rural India
  • and Professor Gita Sen, the Sir Ratan Tata Chair at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, a distinguished economist and one of the world’s leading thinkers on women’s reproductive and sexual health.

The ceremony will be followed by a panel discussion involving University of Sussex academics and Professor Sen on ‘Contrasting perspectives on the future of higher education for a globalising society’. 

On Saturday (18 February) the University will host a reception at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai with one of its strategic partners, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), to jointly commemorate Sussex’s 50th anniversary and TISS’ 75th jubilee.

Three Sussex academics will also be presenting papers at the TISS platinum jubilee conference on areas that are of considerable interest in India:

  • Professor Richard Black on migration and its effect on climate change
  • Professor Imogen Taylor on social work and social development
  • and Dr Dan Hough on anti-corruption and governance.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, says: “We are delighted to be celebrating our 50th anniversary with these events in New Delhi and Mumbai.

“We have a long-established relationship with India and look forward to building on this during the coming decades by working with some of this nation’s great education institutes and encouraging its young people to look to the opportunities that Sussex can offer.”

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Monday, 13 February 2012