Diwali Event Lights Up Taiwan-India Friendship

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On the occasion of the Indian festival of Diwali, the NTNU School of Science celebrated with a cultural exchange event on November 3. This event also marked the return of Assistant Professor Guru Brahamam Ramani from the Indian Institute of Technology at Jammu (IIT-Jammu) to NTNU for an academic exchange. The event aimed to enhance interactions and exchanges between local and international students.

Dean Jein-Shan Chen of the NTNU School of Science extended a warm welcome to Dr. Ramani, who had previously been a post-doctoral researcher under NTNU Vice President Kwunmin Chen. Dr. Ramani fondly remembered his engaging studies and discussions with peers at NTNU. Dean Chen invited Indian students at the event to. one day, return to NTNU for exchanges, whether their academic pursuits take them to India or beyond.

The event effectively brought Indian culture to life with Diwali music and traditional attire. As part of the Higher Education SPROUT (Sustained Progress and Rise of Universities in Taiwan) initiative, the School of Science not only celebrated Diwali but also provided Indian students an opportunity to network and connect through a series of social activities and academic discussions.

Professor Yi-Hsin Liu from the Chemistry Department highlighted the importance of firsthand cultural experiences, pointing out the limitations of online learning. He observed that social events for foreign students are infrequent at the School of Science. These events allowed faculty members to gain insights into the lives of foreign students in Taiwan, and to offer more effective support in their research and learning at NTNU. Professor Liu expressed hope for the university to broaden such cultural initiatives, enhancing opportunities for students to engage with a diversity of cultures.

The days of festivities began with Dr. Ramani reconnecting with former colleagues and friends at the School of Science. Diwali cultural exchanges took place on November 3, followed by academic lectures in the Chemistry Department on November 6. Subsequent days included individual meetings with faculty from various departments and discussions on faculty-level memorandums. Assistant Professor Chan-Shan Yang shared valuable information on the selection and application processes for international students in Taiwan to inform faculty about the support needs of these students.

Professor Yi-Chun Yeh recognized Dr. Ramani’s proactive mentorship in sharing knowledge from his experiences in establishing new laboratories and research teams with new NTNU faculty member Chong-You Chen.

From 2014 to 2017, Dr. Ramani conducted post-doctoral research at NTNU, focusing on organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, and chiral isomer separation. Professor Wenwei Lin commended his notable achievement then of publishing in the prestigious journal, Organic Letters, in the nascent stages of his laboratory work.

Dr. Ramani’s visit was intended to facilitate research exchanges with faculty from the Institute of Electro-Optival Engineering, the School of Life Sciences, and the Chemistry Department. It aimed to reinforce the partnership between NTNU’s Department of Chemistry and IIT Jammu, and to explore opportunities for international exchanges and dual degree programs. Proposals related to these initiatives have been submitted to the NTNU Higher Education Sprout Project Office for further consideration and action.