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The evening will be opened by Sampad Arts’ performance Converse, featuring dance and music artists Vidya Patel and Shammi Pithia. Photo credit: Serendipity Arts Festival

One of India’s most eminent political, diplomatic and business figures will deliver the University of Birmingham India Institute’s inaugural Distinguished Lecture on his country’s relationship with Western nations.

Ambassador Dr. S.Jaishankar, President, Global Corporate Affairs, Tata Group will explore ‘What India means to the West’, with unique insights from his time as foreign secretary of India and Indian Ambassador to the United States, China, and the Czech Republic.

In partnership with the Consulate General of India, the University will welcome the former Indian High Commissioner to Singapore to an evening opening with Sampad Arts’ performance of Converse, featuring outstanding dance and music artists Vidya Patel and Shammi Pithia.

After delivering his lecture, Ambassador Jaishankar will participate in a discussion panel featuring University of Birmingham Chancellor, Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, Consul General India Dr Aman Puri and Professor Scott Lucas, from the University’s Department of Political Science and International Studies

The event takes place in the Elgar Concert hall at 5.30pm on Wednesday 24 October. Booking is essential for anyone wishing to attend the free event and tickets are available at

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Ambassador Jaishankar to the University of Birmingham. As one of India’s most eminent political, diplomatic and business figures, Dr Jaishankar is perfectly placed to comment on India’s relations with Western nations and we look forward to gaining his fascinating insights.

“As a civic university with a global outlook, we are pleased to join the Consulate General of India in hosting the India Institute’s first Distinguished Lecture to give people in the UK this unique opportunity to listen to and ask questions of an influential and distinguished thought leader.”

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The India Institute was established in January 2018 and brings Birmingham and India closer together to deliver impactful research, create innovative education initiatives and extend the University’s influence across the globe.
  • The University’s relationship with India began in 1909 with the first cohort of Indian students attending the University to study for degrees in Mining and Commerce. Since then, the University has provided education to many outstanding Indian alumni.