Sunday, March 30, 2014

University of Chicago opens centre in New Delhi

The University of Chicago opened an academic centre in New Delhi on March 29, supporting opportunities for collaboration among scholars and students from India and Chicago across disciplines.

"The opening of the Delhi center is a very important event for the University of Chicago because it represents about our commitment to academic work in India and with India and because of how it reflects the University's thinking about the importance of its global activities," University President Robert J Zimmer said during the inauguration. 

US Amabassador to India Nancy Powell inaugurated the centre. Nancy Powell. "Education is a very important part of our partnership. We need more American students who speak Hindi, more American businessmen who understand the complexity of this country," said Powell 

The centre will promote scholarship through three broad programmes, business, economics, law, and policy, science, energy, medicine, and public health and culture, society, religion, and arts. The centre will also be an intellectual destination, enabling the University of Chicago to better support research and scholarship that will benefit faculty, students and society, said a statement.

Located at Connaught Place, the 17,000-square-foot centre will provide space for seminars and conferences as well as faculty offices and study areas. It will host Indian and South Asian students and scholars, serve as a base for University of Chicago students and faculty working in India and throughout the region, and engage alumni and parents in India and South Asia.

Delhi joins the University's centre in Beijing, opened in 2010, and the centre in Paris, opened in 2004, in bringing together researchers and students to collaborate across the academic spectrum.

The centre in Delhi is a wholly-owned foreign enterprise operating under the name of 'UChicago Center' in India Private Limited.

Dozens of scholars come to India from the University of Chicago each year. With the university opening a centre in the capital, these scholars will now have a 'base' they can operate from. The centre will not run regular courses but will support and expand research opportunities between its faculty members and students and their partners in India. The centre will also serve as a launch pad for collaborations with educational institutions in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"It will serve the entire region of South Asia. We are open to collaborations with other countries," says the faculty director of the centre, Gary A. Tubb, from the Department of South Asian Languages and Literature. Two faculty members of the university, Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and Lloyd I Rudolph, will be awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President on March 31. "From Suzanne and Lloyd Rudolph's work in India to Indian physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar's work in Chicago in astrophysics and cosmology, scholars have worked in India and come from India," Zimmer added.

Adapted from: The Economic Times & The Times of India, March 30, 2014

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