International relations director, Dr. Ravindra Shah, recipient of Hind Rattan Award “Jewel of India”

March 6, 2013

For the many people around the world who know Dr. Ravindra Shah, it came as no surprise that he was bestowed with a Hind Rattan Award, one of India’s most prestigious national honours.

Ravi Shah - Jewel Of India Award

Dr. Ravindra Shah, seen here in his office, received the Hind Rattan award in New Delhi on January 26, 2013.

UBC Dentistry’s venerable Director of International Relations received the award on January 26, 2013, for outstanding services, achievements, and contributions in his respective field.

For over 27 years Dr. Shah has lead UBC Dentistry’s International Relations program. He is instrumental in bringing over 100 students annually to UBC Dentistry for exchange visits from over 51 countries and organizing academic visits for UBC students to over 20 countries. He sees his role as a catalyst connecting people and institutions within today’s rapidly globalizing world.

The Hind Rattan Award (commonly translated as “Jewel of India”) is given each year on the eve of the Republic Day of India to a person of Indian origin residing outside India by the Non-Resident Indian Welfare Society of India.

On the rare occasion when Dr. Shah is not occupied with the friendship and mentorship that plays an integral role in successful student exchanges, he is active with the many visiting professors and dignitaries who come to UBC Dentistry. As the principal organizer for these visitors, he can be seen introducing them and helping them to make connections across the faculty.

Moreover, he is an erudite speaker sought after by universities worldwide. He recently delivered the Founder’s Day Lecture during Convocation ceremonies at the University of Benin, in Benin City, Nigeria.

Dr. Shah’s travel schedule is robust and his personal, one-on-one, real-time connections between UBC and international students and faculty is the envy of any social media “friend” or “followers” list. Students from past years continue to send him salutations and news about their lives.

Watch a Video of the Ceremony


He is well connected and if not fully embracing instantaneous electronic communications through social media, he could well be its buzz online. Without prior announcement, after quietly receiving the Hind Rattan Award in New Delhi and then returning home, Dr. Shah was surprized by his inbox bursting with congratulations from Tokyo to South America. If not for Twitter, how else to explain the many warm congratulatory messages from across the globe?

UBC President Prof. Stephen Toope commented that Dr. Shah richly deserves this recognition for his outstanding contributions to education and research in dentistry through international academic exchanges. On behalf of the entire university community, Prof. Toope expresses gratitude: “for enhancing UBC’s global reputation as a centre of innovation and excellence.”

Additional information

  • For more information about Dr. Shah and International Relations at UBC Dentistry, read the article “Global Education: A Qualitative Rather Than Quantitative Approach” in the spring 2012 issue of Impressions magazine online here >>
  • In November 2011, Dr. Ravindra Shah received an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. Read more about this achievement online here >>