Mississippi State U looks to build partnership with prestigious Indian university

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Mississippi State University professors met with professors from Jawaharlal Nehru University to explore cooperation. Logo of Mississippi State U (Photo: msstate.edu)

A group of researchers from India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University is visiting Mississippi State University March 22-28, to examine the potential for successful partnerships. The two universities are collaborating on research projects that could make a significant impact on air, water and soil quality, according to a March 26 press release from MSU. The primary research efforts have focused on the use of biochar, a charcoal-like material made of agricultural waste, to enhance soil fertility, increase water quality and decrease carbon emissions.

The MSU and JNU signed a memorandum of understanding in 2015 to formalize their partnerships and commitment to the international collaboration. Much of the collaboration has been spurred by Dinesh Mohan, a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at JNU and former post-doctoral research associate at MSU from 2005-2007, MSU said. In 2014, Mohan was named one of the “world’s most influential scientific minds” by Thomson Reuters.

“I really enjoyed my two years here at MSU,” Mohan is quoted saying in the press release. “I was able to make relationships with researchers all across the university and I have received lots of support from the administration. David Shaw (MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development) has been very supportive of these partnerships.”

The JNU delegation visiting MSU also includes Professors K.G. Saxena and N.J. Raju of the university’s School of Environmental Sciences.

“Our countries have a long history of collaboration,” Saxena is quoted saying. “It started when India was deficient in food with the U.S. providing aid. Now, we both have food surplus issues and some common environmental problems with the U.S. With this project, we have widened the relationship between JNU and MSU and expanded the application of the research. We’re moving closer to the societal benefit, which is the ultimate goal of any program,” Saxena added.

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