Pune University hosts US Consul General David J Ranz ahead of foreign envoys visit to Serum Institute

Pune: Consul General of the United States of America in Mumbai visited the campus of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Tuesday (November 24). Ranz’s visit to the Pune University came just ahead of the scheduled visit of several foreign envoys to the Pune-based Serum Institute of India which is the leading vaccine manufacturer in the world for COVID19.

Dr Nitin Karmalkar, Vice Chancellor of SPPU welcomed Ranz. Dr Karmalkar shared with Ranz the highlights of the new educational policy announced by the central government. Dr N S Umrani, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr Suresh Gosavi, Physics Department Head, Dr Aditya Abhyankar, Head of Technology Department and Dr Avinash Kumbhar, Head of Interdisciplinary School of Science were also present on the occasion.

Ranz was also briefed about the Centre for Molecular Diagnostics to be started in the SPPU campus and research on communicable diseases by the Pune University. Ranz said, “the disease control and prevention centre of the US embassy and the Pune University can come together and work on various projects. Several US universities and organisations are interested to work in collaboration with prestigious universities like the SPPU. The Pune University should coordinate with these universities and organisations.”

Dr Karmalkar said, “We are making efforts to improve our relations with the US universities. We are thinking about starting blended curriculum, liberal arts and joint research projects in association with the US universities.”

Several other Delhi-based foreign envoys including the high commissioners and ambassadors will be visiting the Serum Institute of India in Manjri area of Pune city. Their visit was scheduled on November 27 but was called off. Now they will be visiting the vaccine manufacturing facility on December 4. Serum Institute has partnered with Oxford University and AstraZeneca company to produce the COVISHIELD vaccine which has been proven safe to immunise senior citizens from the coronavirus infection.

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