Meeting Between the TUMS Officials and the Indian Ambassador to Iran
This meeting was held on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 at the University’s Headquarters, with the presence of Dr. Ramin Kordi, TUMS Vice Chancellor for International Affairs; Mr. Gaddam Dharmendra, the Ambassador of India to Iran; Dr. Mohammad Hossein Nekoofar, TUMS Director of International Relations; Dr. Hassan Vatandoost, Head of the Desk for International Cooperation between TUMS and India; Dr. Mohammad Jazayeri, Head of the TUMS Clinical Virology Research Center; Dr. Hamid Mobasheri, a TUMS Faculty Member; Mr. Sanjay Rawat, Second Secretary (Consular Affairs); and Mr. Dashdikpal Nandeshwar, Second Political Secretary (Political Affairs) of the Indian Embassy in Iran.
Dr. Kordi, Vice Chancellor for International Affairs, opened the meeting speaking about the history of medicine in Iran and the background of TUMS, and introduced its faculties, research centers, and teaching hospitals. Referring to the leading role of the university in the country and its leading position in the Middle East, he said: "The number of joint articles by professors and faculty members of the university with international researchers has increased in the past five years." Dr. Kordi stated: "In order to achieve international goals, the university has accepted international students from different countries and currently 927 students from more than 45 countries are studying at this university, and the total number of Indian students at the university is 194, who mostly are studying general medicine."
Explaining the university's position in the international ranking systems, Dr. Kordi said: "TUMS ranks 109th in Asia and 501-600 in the world in the Times Higher Education Ranking System, 351-400 in the QS rankings and 366th in the European rankings." He added: "The university is also successful in the field of production of medical equipment and pharmaceutical products, and one third of the country's drugs are produced by the Faculty of Pharmacy of TUMS." Dr. Kordi announced the readiness of the university to develop educational, research and treatment collaboration with scientific and academic institutes in India.
Then, Dr. Nekoofar, TUMS Director of International Relations, referred to the history of scientific cooperation between the university and Indian educational and research institutions and said: "Over the past six years, more than 500 Indian scientific and educational centers have interacted with Iranian universities in publishing articles, and 3,974 joint articles have been the outcome of these collaborations.” Dr. Nekoofar also stated that India is in the tenth place among the partner countries in publishing joint articles and most of the joint articles have been published in the fields of immunology and microbiology.
He expressed the hope that by holding this meeting and continuing communication, the university's cooperation with scientific and educational centers in India will be expanded and interactions between researchers from the two countries will lead to more joint research.
Subsequently, Dr. Jazayeri, Head of the TUMS Clinical Virology Research Center, described the efforts made to establish a Level 3 Biosafety Laboratory as a practical and necessary laboratory for the fight against COVID-19. He also introduced the ‘Strategic Committee against Covid-19’, which was formed based on the joint cooperation of three universities, including The University of Tehran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. Dr. Jazayeri requested the Indian Embassy in Iran to pursue three issues of mutual scientific cooperation between the two countries, establishing a communication channel between the Ministries of Health of Iran and India to establish a Level 3 Biosafety Laboratory and introducing the ‘Strategic Committee against Covid-19’ to the relevant Indian officials.
Then, Dr. Mobasheri, a faculty member at the university, called for the establishment of a Level-3 biosafety laboratory to better understand and fight the coronavirus. He added: "Considering the activities of biosafety laboratories in India and the experiences of educational and medical centers and institutions in this country, cooperation of TUMS with these institutes to establish this type of laboratory seems important." He also stated that initial talks had been held with a number of Indian universities to sign MoUs, and called on the Indian Ambassador to provide the necessary assistance for finalization of these MoUs.
In the final part of the meeting, Mr. Gaddam Dharmendra, the Indian ambassador mentioned the signing of a mutual cooperation protocol by the presidents of the two countries in 2018, and said: "With the same approach, the Indian embassy in Iran welcomes cooperation between the two countries in medical and health fields." He also said that India, like most countries, was severely affected by COVID-19 at the beginning of the Corona pandemic and was forced to import drugs and equipment from other parts of the world. He added: "Fortunately, India was gradually able to become self-sufficient in meeting its needs, and today, India is in the process of producing several high-impact corona virus vaccines.
Citing the experience and significant research findings of the two countries in the face of the corona virus pandemic, the Indian ambassador to Iran, suggested sharing these findings by holding online scientific meetings between experts from the two countries. Referring to the cooperation between Iran and India in the field of medicine and pharmaceutical research, the ambassador emphasized on the development of interactions between the universities of the two countries and promised to facilitate these relations.
In the end, it was decided that within the next two weeks, a proposal to determine the areas of future cooperation will be prepared and sent to the Indian Embassy in Iran to enter a new phase of interaction by forming relevant working groups.