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K-State Today

October 3, 2016

College of Veterinary Medicine's International Programs office explores opportunities for students in Puducherry veterinary school in India

Submitted by Joe Montgomery

Veterinarians examine cattle at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research in Puducherry, India.

The College of Veterinary Medicine's Sanjeev Narayanan and Keith Hamilton recently returned from a visit to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, or RIVER, in Puducherry, India, where they are working to build collaborative projects for the college that will benefit Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health students.

Hamilton, executive director of the International Programs office in the college, said that one advantage of developing a relationship with RIVER is that it would provide opportunities for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students to experience a high caseload and a wide range of diverse clinical presentations, which they would not commonly see in the United States. He said students would learn about different production systems and see huge biodiversity amongst local livestock populations.

RIVER boasts excellent facilities, including large and small animal hospitals, research and diagnostic laboratories, and animal and crop production units, Hamilton said. Participating students would develop an understanding about the importance of community engagement and have an opportunity to get involved in some of the extension projects that RIVER runs. Like K-State, RIVER is linked to an agricultural college, providing students with the opportunity to learn about sustainable production tailored to a different environment

The institute also provides the infrastructure to support student exchanges, including comfortable accommodation and highly experienced teaching faculty.

Narayanan, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, anticipates this will be the first visit of many in the coming years. In summer 2017, he plans to visit again with the first group of K-State students.

"I'm excited about this opportunity for our students to expand their outlook and strengthen their problem-solving skills in this stimulating and welcoming environment, Narayanan said.

Ellyn Mulcahy, director of K-State's Master of Public Health program, sees this as an excellent opportunity for the program's students.

"By working with RIVER faculty and developing relationships with extension and local public health professionals in Puducherry, we could develop some really interesting, impactful and worthwhile Master of Public Health capstone and research projects," she said.

Hamilton added, "We are specifically looking to develop opportunities for K-State College of Veterinary Medicine students and faculty to broaden their personal and professional horizons by spending time in exotic locations which also offer support of local faculty and infrastructure. Opportunities could include research projects, faculty and student exchanges and externships."

Puducherry is on the east coast of India, not far from the city of Chennai.

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