Skip to main content

Government of India establishes academic and research initiative at Concordia to honour founder of Sikhism

The Guru Nanak Dev Ji Academic and Research Visiting Scholar Initiative will support a new academic position at the Gina Cody School
December 22, 2021
By Joseph Léger, BA 15

Highlights from the ceremony on December 3, 2021

To commemorate the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the revered founder of Sikhism, the Government of India is establishing an academic position at Concordia in his honour.

Co-funded by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Concordia grad Cuckoo Kochar, MEng 78, the Guru Nanak Dev Ji Academic and Research Initiative will support a visiting scholar at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

“This tremendous opportunity was brought to our attention by Cuckoo Kochar who had a desire to help co-fund this position for one year,” says Mourad Debbabi, dean of the Gina Cody School.

“Thank you to the Government of India, the High Commissioner's office and Mr. Kochar for their incredible generosity and vision.”

The official agreement between Concordia and the Government of India was signed at a small ceremony at the university on December 3.

“I want to thank the university and the Government of India for giving me this opportunity to be a small part of the celebration of Guru Nanak Dev Ji,” said Kochar, president and founder of DCR/Phoenix, a real-estate development firm based in Ottawa.

The High Commissioner of India to Canada, Ajay Bisaria, attended on behalf of the Indian government and spoke about why the Gina Cody School was the right fit for the new initiative.

“Guru Nanak Dev Ji was ahead of his time and his vision was for a very progressive and peaceful religion,” said Bisaria.

“This engineering school has a vision that is progressive and futuristic and I think it is very appropriate that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s name is being associated with it,” he added.

The first visiting scholar will be Rajiv Gupta, a senior professor from the Department of Civil Engineering at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India. He is expected to begin his term in 2022.

Signing ceremony From left to right: Cuckoo Kochar, MEng 78, Mourad Debbabi, dean of the Gina Cody School, and Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner of India to Canada | Photo: Julian Haber

Back to top

© Concordia University