Rutgers University signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) establishing an ICCR Chair, who will also be a visiting professor at the university. The MOU signing took place at the Consulate General of India in New York City on June 19 and was signed by Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay, consul general of India, and Dr. Richard L. Edwards, executive vice president for academic affairs.
The chair and visiting professor will teach courses, deliver public lectures, and engage directly with staff and students at Rutgers.
“This partnership offers an exciting opportunity to unify many of the university’s efforts with Indian institutions and raise our visibility,” says Dr. Richard L. Edwards. “As one of the university’s five focus countries for strategic international engagement, strengthening our relationships in India will help us to promote collaborative research and global citizenship throughout the Rutgers community.”
The event also celebrated Rutgers’ participation, along with the Tata Institute for Social Sciences, in President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. The initiative was announced in 2009 by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster economic development, and engage civil society through academic cooperation with Indian institutions of higher education. Rutgers was one of five out of more than 100 applicant institutions to receive an approximately $250,000 grant.
The MOU signing coincided with a study tour of Rutgers for representatives from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences as part of the collaboration for international scholar exchange through the Obama-Singh Initiative Grant. Participants took part in several days of activities to further develop efforts through the initiative. The MOU signing was preceded by a panel discussion on reforming India’s education and training systems.
India is one of Rutgers’ five focus countries for strategic international engagement. In recent years, the university has strengthened partnerships and developed new collaborations in the country. Almost 1,000 Indian students currently study at the university.