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​Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnesses NTU Singapore boosting ties with India ​

Published on: 01-Jun-2018


​Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is set to strengthen its academic and industry partnerships with India, when the Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Narendra Modi visits the University on Friday (1 June) from 3 to 5 pm.

The first visit ever by an Indian Prime Minister, PM Modi will witness the exchange of six agreements and statements of intent between NTU and leading Indian universities, institutions and industry players on education and research to advance innovation for the digital age. He will be accompanied by Singapore's Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.  
To commemorate his inaugural visit to NTU, PM Modi will plant a Neem tree, accompanied by Mr Ong and NTU President, Professor Subra Suresh, to symbolise the strong bilateral ties and the flourishing of new ideas and partnerships between India and Singapore.  
PM Modi is in Singapore for an official visit that includes meetings with Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as well as delivering the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a major annual inter-governmental security forum on the evening of 1 June.
He will participate in a dialogue with Professor Suresh on the theme “Transforming Asia through Innovation” at NTU in the afternoon and interact with students. 
“In our knowledge-based economy, Singapore and India rely on the free flow of talent and ideas into their countries and through their universities. Both countries recognise that this is key to prosperity in the globalised world and it is even more essential in our digital age today,” said Professor Suresh. “The agreements that we will seal today will build on this great momentum of partnerships that we have had in India.”
A historic gift of S$4 million by Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures, co-founder and former CEO of Indian IT giant Infosys, was announced today to support postdoctoral and student research activities at NTU.  Of the S$4 million, S$2 million will go towards creating the Gopalakrishnan-NTU Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship that will enable some of the world’s most promising postdoctoral candidates to carry out their research at NTU, ranked the world’s best young university in the last four years and one of the top universities in the world by QS.
Of the other S$2 million, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras will each receive about S$1 million, which will fund research collaborations for their students at NTU. 
Mr Gopalakrishnan said, “I have been impressed with the quality education and experience that NTU Singapore provides. I am more than delighted to partner NTU in this transformative Fellowship programme that aims to attract the brightest postdoctoral researchers to NTU. The new Fellowship is an exciting endeavour that will inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers and leaders to push forward the boundaries of knowledge, leading to life-changing discoveries and policies that will shape the world’s future.” 
NTU is also appointing Mr Gopalakrishnan as the university's Nanyang Visiting Professor of Practice, in recognition of his distinguished career and outstanding contribution to the information technology industry. As a visiting professor, Mr Gopalakrishnan will be at NTU several times in a year to give lectures and to mentor students and faculty in innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and the creation of new businesses.
NTU will also have new joint PhD programmes with IIT Madras and IIT Bombay, as well as a research programme with the IISc. These will leverage the complementary strengths of the partner institutions in key areas, such as science, engineering, design and management. 
NTU, which already has seven satellites orbiting the Earth since 2011, is also collaborating with Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in space science and technology, including joint satellite projects. Both parties are also keen to develop a sustained exchange programme on space research. 
In the area of digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI), NTU will enter into a research partnership with the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), a policy think tank of the Indian government. Application areas include healthcare, cybersecurity and e-governance.
NTU’s ties with Indian partners reach a new high
The new agreements will build on the already strong areas of collaboration between NTU Singapore and India's leading institutions. Faculty from NTU and their colleagues in India have co-authored almost 800 publications in the past 5 years from 2012 to 2017. Five subjects stand out as having the most number of joint publications – engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science and computer science, Prof Suresh said.
“NTU is committed to working together with our Singapore, Indian and global partners to train students, scholars and leaders who will contribute to the betterment of our society and create a better future for everyone, especially in Asia."
India is also embarking on its ambitious Digital India programme and is creating a network of smart cities across the country to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
The NTU Smart Campus is already a living testbed for smart technologies developed by NTU researchers, students and industry partners, such as Alibaba, Volvo and Singtel to develop and test tomorrow’s technologies before they are deployed in the market. 
“Through engagement and partnerships with India, NTU researchers and students will have an opportunity to apply their cutting-edge research in a diverse society of 1.3 billion people,” Prof Suresh said. 
During the visit, PM Modi and his delegation will tour an exhibition of NTU's latest research that includes social and telepresence robots Nadine and Edgar, made-in-NTU satellites, Singapore’s first 3D printed eco-car and even a 3D printed toilet. Other displays include healthcare applications, AI-driven games and aging-in-place technologies. 
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Note to editors: Please refer to the Annex for more details on the new agreements between NTU and Indian partners.

Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman 
Senior Assistant Director  
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University
Email: feisalar(at)

About Nanyang Technological University 

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).
Ranked 11th in the world, NTU is top in Asia and has been placed the world’s top young university for the past four years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.

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