U.S.-India Higher Education Summit Plenary Session: Getting Started Foundations for Sustainable Partnerships in Teaching and Research
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Assistant Secretary Adam Ereli: My name is Adam Ereli. I am the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. Joining Acting Under Secretary Stock and our friend Assistant Secretary Blake, I am just thrilled and honored to be with you today.
I think we heard this morning in the opening remarks by Secretary Clinton and Mr. Sibal and in the roundtable that followed the strategic vision of this summit and proposed achievable steps forward. During this session we want to concentrate on how we can translate that strategic vision into reality, and additionally to preview what work is going to be discussed in the afternoon breakout session.
I should tell you, having spoken to our moderator, we want this to be an interactive session with the audience participating, so please don’t be shy. Put these guys on the spot.
The agenda for this plenary is to look at the success of current forms of academic collaboration which include student and faculty exchanges, joint degrees, twinning, and other efforts, as well as potential for further collaboration with a broader set of stakeholders for a broader purpose. These include partnerships for workforce development, solving global challenges, and promoting economic growth.
To help us focus this conversation we have an absolutely first-rate set of panelists. Starting on my far left at the opposite end of the stage, I hope this is right and you followed the places, but if you didn’t, let me know. Mr. Sanjay Dhande, there you go. I knew it never works that way. Mr. Sanjay Dhande who is the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India.
I know that next to him is not Suresh Garimella, all right, who is the Associate Vice President for Engagement at Purdue University.
And now we’re just going to throw up your hand, please. MK Bhan, there we go, Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
Charles Steger, President of Virginia Tech University.
Dinesh Singh is the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University.
Adam Grotsky who strategically put himself in the middle is the Executive Director of the United States India Educational Foundation. He oversees the administration of the Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship program through the Education USA Advising Centers located throughout India and the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Grants Competition to U.S. universities. Adam will serve as the moderator for today’s plenary session.
Then we have Martha Kanter, who is the Under Secretary of Education and formerly Chancellor of Foothill-De Anza Community College District which is one of the largest community college districts in the United States.
Mr. T. Ramasami is Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Science and Technology.
Finally, Mr. Jared Cohon, President of Carnegie Mellon University.
Did I leave out Ramdas Pai? Okay, good. Not good, all right.
As we discuss the way forward in achieving higher education collaboration between the United States and India I think it’s important that we don’t forget that collaboration, these kinds of collaborations start with people, they start with individuals. I wanted just to take one moment to talk about in this context the work of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs in the State Department which I represent and to note that our main mission is to build lasting partnerships for the United States around the world through people-to-people exchanges, and I don’t think any undertaking, any endeavor symbolizes that goal, that mission with more clarity and in a more compelling way than the U.S.-India Higher Education Summit.
As we heard from Deputy Secretary Burns last night and Minister Sibal, these exchanges play an important role in the relationship between our countries which is why educational and cultural exchanges are key components of our dialogue with India.
With the additional support announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh in November 2009, the Fulbright-Nehru Program has nearly tripled in the last three years with approximately 300 students and scholars from the United States and India participating annually in this flagship people-to-people exchange. And the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative also announced during President Singh’s U.S. visit in November 2009 supports partnerships and junior faculty development between U.S. and Indian higher education institutions in priority fields such as agriculture, energy, climate change, and public health to strengthen teaching, research and administration. The first proposals under the Obama-Singh initiative are due November 1st.
We are also funding, and this is very important, a significant expansion of Education USA Advising Services in India which provide Indian students and parents accurate, reliable, objective information about opportunities for study at more than 4,000 accredited higher education institutions in the United States. We’ve just launched a nationwide toll-free advising hotline in English and Hindi for Indian students and their parents, and have expanded our social media and on-line support.
Our Community College Initiative provides opportunities for talented Indian students from underserved communities to compete for one year study programs at community colleges across the United States in fields important to Indian national development including business management, administration, tourism, hospitality, allied health and media studies.
It’s interesting to note that nearly half of all U.S. undergraduates study at U.S. community colleges so this is an opportunity for Indian students to interact with ours and help internationalize our campuses.
Finally, in the field of language learning, each year the Department of State sends 150 American high school and university students to India to study and learn Indic languages while providing more than 1,000 14-18 year old Indian students with English access micro-scholarships for two years of English language instruction in their local communities.
I talk about these programs because they demonstrate our commitment to strengthening U.S.-Indian relations through educational and cultural exchange, but we know, and this is why you’re here, that the bulk of this collaboration happens without state involvement. It is the institutions that you represent that are going to shape the future and this is what we want to hear about today.
Now let me turn it over to Adam to begin the discussion. I thank you all for your attention and your participation and your commitment.
Director Adam Grotsky: Good morning. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here with all of my good friends and colleagues from both India and the United States. Ambassador Ereli, thank you for your introduction to this morning’s plenary.
As you mentioned, the just-completed roundtable provided us an outline of the strategic vision and challenges for 21st Century U.S.-India education engagement. Now we’re going to focus on how to translate that strategic vision into reality.
During the plenary we plan to preview the leaders’ approach, developing their international strategies. What are the key considerations at play for success, and how do the eight areas chosen for the afternoon breakout sessions fit together?
The intent of today’s plenary is to get ideas out onto the tale for further consideration and not necessarily for resolution. I hope to involve the audience in today’s dialogue as much as possible.
Before proceeding I do want to establish a few very simple ground rules for today’s discussion. As I said, we want to include the audience but we really need the questions from the audience to be concise, a few sentences only, and no running commentary.
Our panelists’ comments will be limited to about three minutes maximum at a time, again so that we can have as much dialogue as possible.
We’re going to start by looking at some of the models of current academic collaboration. These include student exchange, faculty exchanges, joint degree programs, twinning programs, or 2+2, 3+1 programs, and even consideration of establishing physical facilities for teaching and research, branch campuses, if you will. These are a menu of options where internationalization usually begins. These are often the seeds of sustainable and growing relationships between institutions and also between nations. We’ll want to hear about some of the considerations an institution has in deciding what mix of options to pursue and what some of the common elements of success are in pursuing these options.
We’re going to dive right into today’s plenary without any formalities. Again, I’m thrilled to be here with such a distinguished panel of scholars and leaders and I’m very much looking forward to today’s interaction.
We’re going to start off with a question for Dr. Dinesh Singh, the vice Chancellor of Delhi University. And we’re going to actually build off of the Twitter question that came up during the roundtable.
Professor Singh, currently there are over 100,000 Indian students studying in the United States while there are less than 3,000 American students who visit India each year to study. Redressing this imbalance is obviously important because with India’s rising influence we need more Americans who have an understanding of Indian culture and society. Your institution has a long history of student exchange, has been successful in welcoming students from Brown University, Rutgers, University of California to name a few. Why do you think Delhi University has been successful in this endeavor and what challenges are there to bringing more U.S. students to India?
Dr. Dinesh Singh: I’m glad that the U.S. recognizes there is an imbalance. I wish the young minds over here in the morning would be present right now so that I could also sound them on my own thoughts and the thoughts of the panelists here.
It’s important to understand that there has to be an idea. When the power of the idea and its time come then nothing will stop this exchange. I hope that through this interaction, through such fora, we’re able to create this idea, engender it, and supplant it in the minds of everyone here, the younger people.
The reason why the University of Delhi has had whatever limited success as opposed to some other institutions in India, and there are others that have also been very successful, is because given all these [bad years], first of all in the traditional models students seek credit transfer. Indian institutions are impeded by this, their own regulations, to award credit transfer. But there are ways and means by which you can work around that. At Delhi and at some other institutions we work around that, so it has worked. However, if I have your permission to just say a little bit more beyond just this business of student exchange in the current scenario. What we need to understand is that more than this technicality, it’s the power of the idea that will make students come. There is something that really attracts them.
I would like to put this in the context of something else, historically. In the 19th Century there were these great American thinkers of the Concord Movement, the Transcendentalists, Emerson, Thoreau, all of them, and their ideas influenced Mahatma Gandhi. There was no credit transfer for them. Gandhi didn’t even go to any university. There was nothing for him. But his instruments of satyagraha that led to the freedom struggle were largely shaped by the ideas of Emerson, Thoreau and Ruskin. And when I delved into Ruskin, Thoreau and Emerson I realized that they in turn had been influenced by Indian philosophy, profoundly influenced. These ideas that power, they don’t recognize [bad years]. Gandhi himself when he was visited just before India’s independence by a delegation of the African Blacks had said prophetically that maybe the message of non-violence will [lift] the world to the American Black movement which is exactly how it happened when Martin Luther King came along.
So the idea is what causes everything else to follow in its wake. And what is the idea that you could place before these young minds? That these are exciting times in India. There is a resurgence in India. Make no mistake about this. I believe as an Indian, whether this transpires or not, India will find its way. The point is will the young minds here wish to participate in this journey in which India is reawakening and creating so many new things. And if once that idea is embedded through institutional mechanisms many things will follow in its wake.
Director Grotsky: I’ll ask to follow-up on that Under Secretary Kanter. How do we get these young minds excited about participating in this journey? How can the Department of Education, the Department of State, encourage more of the study abroad from American students to India?
Under Secretary Martha Kanter: I am actually convinced that we have not historically done enough to inspire young people every single day. I’ve been profoundly affected by a conversation I had a few weeks ago with Dr. Christiansen from Harvard who challenged a bunch of us around the room with the question, “What would it take to create a successful experience for every day?” How could you organize higher education and K-12 education and that early learning education around that so that you would basically be pulling students to want to create the ideas. They would be pulled to education in a way that really I think in the last 30 years or 40 years in at least the U.S. we have not done enough of.
So when you think of that, how do we do that? I don’t know whether I agree or not with what Dr. Pitroda has said about teachers. I do think that the very best teachers, students stand in awe of. So if I were ever as fortunate to meet Mahatma Gandhi you would be spellbound. And what would it take to create that experience for every student in both our countries? So how to do that is really what the Department of Education is thinking about and we have Study Abroad programs, we have a long history, we have many experts here in the audience who have -- some are intermediaries, some university presidents have had longstanding programs. I know in my 16 years as a community college president we went from 2000 to 4000 students who came from other countries, 15 percent of our population of our 25,000 students when I was president were from India, second generation, first generation students. And that really grew in the way that students and faculty would interact. So in hiring faculty I was looking for faculty that spoke more than one language and were experts in anthropology or chemistry or physics or whatever we were hiring. But I wanted to have a diverse faculty to really understand not only who the American students were, but who the international students were that were coming. They then created the work study programs, the Study Abroad programs, and all of the exchanges that we have today.
Where I think we could really add more value and have greater impact is to bring cohorts of students, diverse cohorts of students and faculty together to study in India, and by the same token, so that professors for six months to a year could have a deep experience, could engage in scholarship, could build what I call, and I say we talk a lot about partnerships and the things that Dr. Cohon. The partnership has to depend on a relationship built on trust. To develop that trusted network and that trust that the knowledge is coming from an institution or a web site or a TED program or whatever it is where students are getting that information, that you trust that that knowledge is going to generate and inspire the ideas that certainly my colleague here has talked about in his opening remarks.
So I think we need more faculty exchanges, we need more interesting forms of exchanges. We need to really encourage curriculum development so that for example we were saying again this morning that 20 courses make up the first year of an undergraduate education. That’s where community colleges and universities can join together to say this is the way we’d like students to enter higher education, tertiary education, with this foundation, to then explore and become the leading scientists and mechanics and all kinds of people that the societies, the communities will need which will vary across our two countries.
Let me stop there, but I think again, curriculum, faculty exchanges deepened partnerships that are based on trust are really going to be all of the mechanisms we need to move forward.
Director Grotsky: One of the things that I’ve seen over the last couple of years that I’ve been in New Delhi is a lot of delegations from U.S. universities coming out, and they’re interested in engaging in India, but one of the problems is they’re not teaching enough about India on their home campuses. I know the Title 6 Centers for South Asian Studies have been really the way that a lot of institutions around the country have been able to develop India studies and South Asia studies.
Is this an area where potentially we can see expansion in the Department of Ed? Or because of today’s economic downturn, this is an area that probably we won’t see more of?
Under Secretary Kanter: I think individual institutions in collaboration with other institutions are going to deepen the kinds of programs, curriculum and departments that they have. So I know in my own experience we actually created an inter-cultural international division of the institution, but what they did was they used learning communities to actually embed the teaching of culture and language and history whether it was U.S.-India, whichever countries it was, in the language arts curriculum, and freshman compositions. Students were writing, students were studying the world history, and we were embedding it. We talked about maybe 30 years ago writing across the curriculum. How about inter-cultural education across the curriculum? How about embedding language across the curriculum and history and some of the fundamentals, rather than continuing to have the siloed programs that only reach this small number of students and don’t draw them to the kind of inspirational goals that we would want to have for many more of our students to both exchange and actually experience the countries that we have.
Director Grotsky: It sounds like from this morning’s comments that Dr. Levin from Yale, that has also been very instrumental in their India initiative as well, making sure that they’re teaching India across the curriculum.
I’ll switch gears a little bit and address a question to Professor Dhande from IIT Kanpur. IIT Kanpur has had a long history, 50 years plus, linkages with U.S. institutions of higher education. But can you talk a little bit about IIT Kanpur’s current level of international engagement and provide some examples of the best practices in areas of joint curricula projects and research collaborations between IIT Kanpur faculty and your international partners?
Dr. Sanjay Dhande: Thanks, Adam. The first thing I would like to say is that when Ambassador Celeste was the Ambassador in India he visited our institute. I don’t know if he remembers it or not but we still remember. And Ambassador Blake came to the Golden Jubilee Celebration in Washington, D.C. and addressed the alumni of IIT Kanpur. So we have a long relationship.
Current activities, there’s a beautiful interesting alliance called Indo-U.S. Center for Fabrionics. This is the modern manufacturing at the nano-skill level which is very useful for electronics and many other industries and is supported as a part of the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Fora. And three universities from USA -- Northwestern University; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of California Irvine, the three universities from U.S. -- and two universities from India, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur are the participants, faculty members are working together, students are going across, patents have been filed together, papers have been published. I was really jealous because they took a cruise to Alaska as part of their yearly workshop. So we are doing a lot of out of the box things actually. And Fabrionics is a new term coined for the next generation of nano-skill manufacturing, an exciting alliance.
We also have an Indo-U.S. Center on Biomaterials, particularly which is very important from the low cost point of view, and here the University of Washington; University of Texas, San Antonio; and a couple of universities in India along with IIT Kanpur, this is also another alliance. Even though there is the word center, there is no brick and mortar facility, but this is essentially an alliance.
The third one is the Yale - IIT Kanpur and IM Kozhikode Alliance for Academic Leadership which we feel is an extremely important element as the India expands and has to worry about the quality part. And this was mentioned earlier.
We also had another interesting activity which is between MIT, Helsinki Institute, the Finland Institute of Technology, and IIT Kanpur for developing mobile phones for the African and the low income groups, and this was a senior project among the students of the three countries. Today we have got some project management tools by which even if I am working in India, you are working in the U.S., the students can interact together. So this was another very important initiative that we had.
We also had the RPA, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and UIUC, and IIT Kanpur, the interaction for the distance education, giving the courses together. Besides the Indo-U.S. relationships we have Erasmus Mundus Program from France. We also have the Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing, a mid-career executive MBA program for the manufacturing industry in India, between Japan and India, and we also have the academic framework certification as an IITK-Sweden program.
The only thing about the student exchange, I have insisted on every foreign student to have a mobile phone because a French student came and was missing for one day and we were really scared what happened. Finally when we located he says my dream is to sleep by the side of Ganges, and he was missing. So we make sure that every student -- When the American students come they want to see the marriages and one of the students to make the Indo-U.S. student exchange very successful from the American side, throw in the big fat Indian wedding and they will come. [Laughter].
Director Grotsky: One of the things I often say about the Fulbright-Nehru program is that education is what really is at the heart of Fulbright-Nehru, but it’s those day-to-day interactions, the cultural interactions, sleeping by the side of the river or going to a wedding, that really are the heart and soul of the Fulbright-Nehru program.
Let me just follow up briefly on that, on the issue of joint collaborations. Do you find that a lot of your collaborations are started by individual faculty? In other words a faculty member who happened to be at Northwestern or Illinois Champagne-Urbana? What I’ve seen in my career, sometimes that can be a very good thing, and can lead to a collaboration. But other times we all know it’s very easy to sign an MOU, but how do you make that sustainable? How do you turn that into something that really champions both institutions?
Dr. Dhande: I think you need the fire in the belly in some individuals. And we do need crazy people. And unless you have some crazy people things don’t happen.
Once I remember the Japanese Ambassador told me this looks very crazy, are you crazy? I said yeah, I’m crazy. But I said let us do it.
I think the people matters a lot and all the successes that we have seen. Yesterday only you saw the students and the faculty of IIT Kanpur fabricated and launched a nano-satellite, 10 centimeter by 10 centimeter by 30 centimeter weighing three kilograms. And now it is sending the signals and they are being picked up in France, Israel, and Japan. We are getting the messages from them.
Mr. Jared Cohon: I wonder why [inaudible] doesn’t work? [Laughter].
Dr. Dhande: I don’t know. But what I’m saying is collaborations happen because of individuals. We need individuals, we need activities, and we need the platform. The platform is the [killing point].
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
Sticking on the topic of faculty engagement, faculty exchange, President Cohon from Carnegie Mellon, Carnegie Mellon has expanded globally and offers grad degree programs throughout the world. I’d like to get a sense of the faculty exchange aspect of those graduate degree programs and how integral component it is. But I guess what I’d really like to touch on is what are the potential institutional and practical impediments for sending faculty abroad? And maybe some specific examples of ways to minimize the impact of these potential impediments.
Mr. Cohon: The obstacles are obvious. Distance, disruption in one’s life, et cetera. Both personal life and professional life.
But I’m going to focus on one particular example which shows not only that it can happen, and we all know that, but the implications of it for institutions can be quite significant.
One of the programs that Carnegie Mellon has is in Portugal. We have four dual master degree programs and seven dual PhD programs with ten universities in Portugal, which is to say all of the major universities in Portugal. What is really surprising to me is how quickly these programs have resulted in meaning institutional change in the Portuguese universities, which is what they sought. What the government sought.
It comes in many forms, but in particular the universities are collaborating with each other in ways that they never did. In fact the notion of inter-institution collaboration in Portugal is a complete non-starter. Now they accept each other’s courses, they teach at each other’s, get to know them. We went from two companies involved in this collaboration when we started five years ago to 83 companies and the idea of university-industry collaboration in Portugal was as common and well accepted as inter-institutional collaboration which was to say it was almost non-existent. And now they can’t get enough of it.
Third, as is typical in the European research university model, research institutes, separately organized research institutes, usually almost always exist outside the university structure which really is something that in the U.S. model is not viewed as a good thing. For the first time in modern history, two of these Portuguese partners have created research institutes inside their universities in the areas they’re collaborating with us.
All this has happened in less than five years, and the faculty exchange part of this, I mean this is -- Let me interject something which is related both to the Portuguese example but also to any international collaboration and everything we’ve talked about here. What has to be very clear about what you’re trying to achieve, so much of what we just talked about is making excellent education even better by enhancing it. It’s great that IIT Kanpur students are interacting with MIT, RPI, et cetera. Their education is better as a result. So are the MIT students, et cetera. And as well with regard to student exchanges. But none of this has to do with the kind of institutional challenges we heard about in the first session. How do you create 50,000 colleges, et cetera? It has nothing to do with that.
Similarly this, back to the Portugal example, what the Portuguese government was after, and thankfully the Portuguese universities have gone along with it, is the kind of institutional change I just talked about. And in particular, moving the universities more into the economic development, innovation sector or space. That’s what that was about. And exchanges are nice, but what they’re really after was that.
So finally, the key element of that from the Portuguese point of view was to take their existing universities which are very good, but to elevate them even higher to make them “world class”, moving towards that direction.
That meant equating their faculty with how we do things in the field in which we were collaborating, and that meant each of them spent at least a semester. If they were going to teach in the dual degree program they had to spend at least a semester on our campus watching how we do it. Now some of that sounds sort of institutionally arrogant, it’s not intended to be, but that’s what this is all about. We are world class in information technology. That’s where the collaborature was headed. The Portuguese universities generally are not. They recognize that. So that was the nature of that collaboration.
So yes, you can do it. There are certainly obstacles. But the impact on institutions can be profound.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
I promised to get the audience involved in today’s discussion. I also have some of the other panelists that we want to engage as well. But why not do both of those at the same time?
So I’d like to open up to the audience for questions. I think there are a few microphones floating around. Please.
Voice: Recently the State Department established a 100,000 Strong program for China. Why is it you don’t have a 100,000 Strong program for India?
Director Grotsky: I know you don’t represent the State Department and we don’t have a State Department representative here with us, but I don’t know if you’d feel comfortable discussing that initiative and whether or not you think it’s something that we should think about.
Under Secretary Kanter: I do think it’s something the Department of State should talk about with the Department of Education. I do think it’s an incredibly ambitious goal. I’ve been sort of going back to the ‘50s, put a man on the moon, this is what we need to do I think better than anyone so far. What is the goal of all of this? Could we reach it? How can both our countries work together toward that end?
So if that goal came about because of a tremendous number of conversations, relationships, summits, all, kinds of thinking about what it would mean to reach that goal when the administration came in in 2009, and I think the same thing, we would have to engage with the leadership of both countries through our state departments and really think through what would it be to have a goal, whether it would be 100,000. We know we’d need to significantly draw more American students to India. There are tremendous opportunities ahead. I think everyone in this room wants to figure out how to do this and the best model. Delhi, IIT, many many kinds of combinations to get that done. But setting a big goal, that’s what we’re about. That’s what this administration hangs its hat on. So we’d be very happy to work on that.
Director Grotsky: I’ll direct a question to Dr. Bhan on the same topic. Do you think that India is near ready for 100,000 American students? What models of collaboration do you think would be the most effective in welcoming that many students?
Dr. MK Bhan: When you operate on scale you need to relook at the institutional mechanism. These random connections that are made are the foundation, but if you really have to scale up, in the end the U.S. needs to seriously address the question of an institutional mechanism and what we will be talking about is a higher education platform of some sort, which is not an end to itself, but is an enabler, it makes information accessible, it makes support systems accessible and connects with everyone in the U.S. and in India. I have had a huge number of collaborations, [mostly] in the U.S., but they all arose by random chance. I met somebody at a party, a science meeting or somewhere. There ought to be a method to this and I think that is what is required. I worked at the [inaudible] of Medical Sciences which probably has a huge record of receiving international students. We had a wonderful institutionalized system of receiving students. In the beginning I met a young American girl and she walked into my out-patient, I am a physician, and she said I was told to meet you, what do I do? And in my chamber I actually didn’t have a place to make her sit. I got up and found a chair. Then I went to the director and said, for God’s sake, let’s receive them in a way and try to understand what they want. And over the last 20 years it’s been an incredible experience. So we need an institutional framework.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
I’d also like to talk a little bit about, one of the issues in the first series of breakout sessions is going to be issues of quality assurance and governance in institutions of higher education. So I’d like to direct this question to Dr. Ramasami. If you could talk just a little bit about some of the reforms that are under consideration in the area of accreditation and how you feel these will help shape the environment for international linkages in collaborations between India and the U.S..
Dr. T Ramasami: Thank you. I am revealing secret. We traveled together and I thought I would get some brief on the question she was going to ask me, but he spoke to me something in Hindi which I didn’t understand. [Laughter]. Probably he spoke to me and gave me his questions in Hindi, I don’t know. Therefore there’s already a quality problem because I didn’t understand Hindi.
Primarily when we discuss this accreditation process we talk about standards. I would like to shape the question a little bit so that I can answer it better. Both these countries, both the U.S. and India, face what I call are diversity challenges which is to the learners. We talk about all the same standardization all from the teachers and the institution standpoint. My friend, Dr. Sam Pitroda mentioned about the importance of the learners.
When you have the very diverse learning group and then talking about standardize everything to one level, and then bring and accredit the educational enterprises to that base, would mean that you address only a section of the community, the learning community, that you want to address. That is a whole community.
That is certainly an important issue with respect to let us say getting education in India. When we expanded the continuing education from 25,000 to 700,000 in a short span of time, they have education requirements within that system. Like international. I believe for the global citizenry, to set up an application system and build this process, it’s possible and we build up. But both these two countries have people who are still very national. They are not yet moored up to this global situation. So I think when we discuss this we need to have not one system of accreditation. Maybe a system of accreditation which engages for the two partnerships in two. Taking the challenges that we have, looking at it from the institution standpoint, in terms of science and technology this is a welcome step and there are measures and standard tools available, but eventually we cannot make education only science and technology focused. There is huge sociological damage. We have several parts being discussed as you know, and they are in the conversation stage.
Director Grotsky: Dr. Cohon?
Dr. Cohon: I just want to comment on this from the institutional perspective. This issue of quality control of course is extremely important. When Carnegie Mellon or [inaudible] Tech or Purdue offers their own degree program anywhere else in the world, the overarching issue, the demand, the absolute constraint is it meets the same quality standards we have on our own campuses. The one asset we have which is the most valuable thing we have to ourselves is our brand, and any hiccup in providing programs outside the U.S. which would damage that brand can be fatal. So while I’m not in any way trying to minimize the challenge of quality control, there are practical issues to it. The incentive for doing it is extremely powerful when U.S. institutions do what they do abroad.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
I would like to, actually let me ask a question of Dr. Steger because I think the idea of branch campuses is on the back of everybody’s mind in India. It’s something that’s being talked about and considered and debated, certainly for the last three and a half years that I’ve been in India. And Virginia Tech has a number of interesting international collaborative models including programs in Dominican Republic, Egypt, Switzerland, and I’d like to hear a little bit about Virginia Tech’s approach to international collaboration, and in particular if and why you’d feel India would be a desirable destination for Virginia Tech to open a branch campus.
Dr. Charles Steger: I’m happy to do that.
Let me step back and just take a minute to establish a little context of why we have these facilities. I think we all are coping with how one deals with the globalization and the evolution of information technology and technology in general and how do we keep up with the cycles within a nation that are inherent in those going on around the world today. So the facility that we are building in India is part of a number of facilities around the world where there are many different objectives. It’s very important, as we stated earlier, to know what it is you want to accomplish because you can’t accomplish everything. You can only accomplish a limited number of things and you need to do them extremely well.
But at one level it is to put our faculty and students so that they have their finger on the pulse of innovation. It’s happening, that cycle is happening day and night, it is worldwide, at an increasing pace. So we have facilities in Switzerland, South America, other places.
The second thing, of course, our approach to it is that we are long-term investors. We do not go into these projects thinking we’ll see how it works and in a year or two we may pull out. Our facilities in Switzerland we’ve owned for 15 years and we’ve been operating there for 25 years. The reason that that is important is that it changes the nature of the relationship between you and the government, between you and the students and the local faculty that you might hire. They know that next year and the year after and the year after, you’re still going to be there.
Third when you view it as bringing some depth to understanding of other cultures which is critical for our students, you can’t do that just visiting for a short period of time. We have found that over time where we have been in places for long periods, the relationships with the local the national governments, the relationships with other faculty in those countries gives us the opportunity, and we don’t always take great advantage of it, but it gives us the opportunity to gain insight into the culture, to gain insight into the educational ecosystem in which we are participating so we really can add value.
Another point I would make that we use in the criteria for choosing places is that it must be in the long run mutually beneficial or it won’t work. It of course is always I think, you have to have these personal relationships, but then over time these people change and you have to have a vehicle through which you institutionalize the relationship. That’s why when we have a facility or we are building a place outside of Chenai now, we own it. We are setting up a trust to hold our assets in India. We have a Virginia Tech-India Advisory Committee which has been working for four years now. We have a lot of senior people from business and the academy and they give us great insights. They help us. I said that we certainly won’t claim that we don’t make mistakes but we hope at least our mistakes are slightly more intelligent than they would have been if we hadn’t had this kind of advice in the process.
So it’s all that coming together really to give our researchers a chance to understand what’s going on in the world, to give the students and the faculty a chance to learn in-depth about how other cultures think about problems and how they go about solving them, and then finally, another thing that we take quite seriously is on our main campus we have a corporate research center. We have about 140 companies that are in that park today. Actually it’s full, we’re building a second phase. But downstream in terms of our interaction with businesses and other entities in India, I can see that we will engage in helping to start some companies there.
What we find is that the companies in our corporate research center, many many of them do global business. One has an office in Bangalore. So it sounds kind of far-fetched but it really isn’t. We do have an environment that nurtures the growth and development of these companies. We have a very high success rate also because we helped put them in touch with venture capital, and I view this as something that would flourish, in my opinion, in India as we get going.
So we hope the first building will be done in January and we’ll invite you all over to visit.
Director Grotsky: We look forward to it. Thank you.
Building on that, Professor Garimella from Purdue University, can you talk a little bit about Purdue’s approach to working in India? Are branch campuses on your menu of possibilities? What are the ways that you’re hoping to further that engagement?
Dr. Suresh Garimella: Thank you for the question and thank you for the opportunity to be here.
I think we’re hearing many perspectives on this and I think it’s a very large, very challenging, very complex problem. We’ve heard about the scale of the problem this morning. Hundreds of thousands of new students, new I guess young people that need to be educated and so on. So there clearly is no one size fits all type solution. You can put that set in different ways. I think we should engage in appropriate ways with appropriate institutions.
I think that relationships between top class research institutions will take a certain shape but on the other hand if there are say polytechnic institutions or the community college type things that will take a different approach.
So the bottom line to me at least is that the value proposition we’re getting into needs to be very clear on both sides. I think broadly global engagement is great and nobody would question that, but for an institution of the U.S. to interact with an institution in India, what does that institution get? What do we get out of it? And it’s not crass sort of commercial outcomes, it is, it may be something quite noble. If we’re happy with the noble, that’s fine. If the noble thing maybe we want to be a good neighbor in the world and we want to do this. But I think if we do that then we need to identify it as such and then have metrics as such to satisfy ourselves that we’re getting it. I don’t think we should go in with one goal and then start some say distance education programs or something and say well, we’re not getting all the revenue we want.
So I think it’s critical that all of us on all sides have a very clear idea of the value proposition. And I think this is again different in different countries. Purdue engages heavily with China and the story there is quite different. The story with each institution, the IITs, the IAST and so on one level, the NITs the RECs, and then a host of other institutions is different as well.
I, like many other examples that have been heard, have good successes in some cases. I do believe that the peer-to-peer nature of this thing is absolutely critical. There is no alternative to it. I do not think a President of the university and a director of an institute can make a relationship happen, irrespective of how much money is provided.
Now is it enough to have just peer-to-peer faculty collaborations? You can get so far with it. You definitely need an administrative structure that helps you sustain it.
I can tell you that I sent out a message within Purdue to a large cross-section asking sort of to prepare myself for this question, to get their perspective. In different words almost everyone said it’s great, it’s easy to start something with great fanfare and have much momentum for the first year or two. What is difficult is to sustain it. It peters out after a bit either because the people change or because, well, so many things can change.
Now it may be that sometimes you just want those brief things and they’re probably good enough. There’s nothing wrong with a brief good strong interaction that leads to a few patents or papers and that’s all right. But I think if you want a long sustained relationship you need to think it through very carefully. Has Purdue thought about branch campuses? Yes, we have. I think, my sense is somehow that we’ll see less of them, although I am very pleased to see Virginia Tech’s example and I go to Chenai often enough and I’d like to visit if I’m invited.
I think, however, branch campuses are one model. There are many many models. I was afraid of what Dr. Pitroda said but there are bits of it at least that I agree with, and that is I think there are newer models today which we’re not even really thinking about. We have what is called a network center with this elite institution in India, JNC, the Jawaharlal Nehur Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. It started off, I’ll just tell you why that became as successful as it did, besides the fact that [BIUSSDS] funded it and such.
I was organizing a conference in India. I took a friend of mine with me, one of my colleagues, he and his wife and a couple of others came along. The conference was in Gauhati in Assam. And we went to Kaziranga. The one place in the world where you can see single-horned rhinos. It was a fantastic experience. The guy fell in love with it. He then chose, he didn’t sought out ways to engage with India, he sought out an engagement with CNR Rao, Professor Rao, and that’s what was needed, and it’s grown into a very nice thing.
So I think we should not and cannot underestimate the importance of individual interactions, but I think the institutions should stand by to support it as needed, and when needed. They may not always need to be sustained, but I think there are times when that needs to be done.
Director Grotsky: Thank you very much.
I am going to reach out to the audience again in a minute, but first I’d like to invite Secretary Vibha Puri Das from the Ministry of Human Resource Development to come up to the podium and to offer a few remarks.
Secretary Das: Thank you very much. I think I would only like to take on what Dr. Bhan started with and I think what President Purdue also referred to. The anecdotal quality of the interaction needs to be graduated to another level, and that’s precisely why we think if we ask ourselves why are we here today, the reason why we are here is to develop a whole pipeline of scholars, of faculty members who are traveling to both locations, of research ideas, of translational research, and of the skills and vocational skills building and partnering with community colleges, if you will. But the framework which will facilitate partnering in all of these domains is something that we need to be concerned about. I hear the concern, but what are we doing about it in an organized way? While individual initiative and individual, the anecdotal quality of such interactions will remain, but this event will achieve its purpose if we have a clearly articulated strategy of moving towards a partnering along these three or four critical areas which I hear every panelist also articulating.
Director Grotsky: Thank you very much.
Dr. Singh: Thanks. We quickly come to the audience and you can ask questions, but I just wanted to add a little bit.
These institutional mechanisms certainly need to be fostered and put in place, but under the broader mechanism, what’s the guiding principle? As I understand it, my experience is limited but reasonable with American institutions, and as recently as yesterday I was at one of your universities where again this experience was reinforced. As I understand it, American universities are in many ways trying to reinvent themselves. This more or less reinforces what Dr. Pitroda said. I do not think Yale today will be the Yale 20 years down the line. It has to change. And I can see this. It’s happening. The Singapore Initiative is largely because Yale needs to reinvent some place which it’s not being allowed to do, for all kinds of reasons. Similarly, the other university where I was yesterday, I noticed this. They are reinventing themselves. And I asked their president in private and he said he believes in this, otherwise they will have difficulties.
What are the features of that? One, all of them recognize that there is great value in this experiential system of learning. The blackboard mode, the formal mode where the teacher largely presents his or her back to the class is changing rapidly. And students are driving this because they need it. And universities are recognizing that this is leading to great value. And this is a principle that people have recognized the world over repeatedly, but somewhere, Confucius said this, Mahatma Gandhi said it and there were people who set up universities, as somebody said yesterday, Confucius was the first person to set up a university. And Mahatma Gandhi ran a university. He said that what you do with your hands in the realm of knowledge will enter your heart. Look at any great mind that has transformed society through knowledge. All of them have worked with their hands. No matter how much, I’m willing to wager on this. No matter how much Einstein may have tried to hide this, but his insights into gravitation came because he played a lot with magnets at his father’s electrical company. Similarly, Newton did the same. He built things with his hands. His experiments with light using his own hands gave him his insight into gravitation. Again, I think the universities are coming back to this model. Where does this affect, in the end how will this create this relationship?
But I India too we are reinventing in many ways. At the University of Delhi they have set up this cluster innovation center. That is grounded broadly on four themes. One, it must have strong connections with industrial clusters in all realms of human endeavor. So at the earlier session in the morning I heard Mr. Ramadorai mention the Tata Motors, the nano-car which is so innovative. What we are expecting is to get the nano-car into our engineering kitchen. I want and I expect that our students will in many ways reinvent that car. Make it better. Maybe learn some things. Maybe give some things. And that kind of learning leads to great, great enhancement of the students’ potential ability, eagerness, motivation, so on and so forth. So industrial clusters will be linked. Similarly we will be adopting village clusters, slum clusters. Remember, for a society to progress I strongly believe for a society to progress in the realm of knowledge there must be a certain degree of ferment. That’s where I believe Europe seems to be losing out. They’ve sort of settled into an easy state of social welfare. The ferment is important. That is present in India to a great degree. There is so much happening because of these village and slum clusters that drives young minds in India. The more I see, the more it gives me strength, and that’s what we will build into it. So it will be a two-way process. We don’t bother with the supercilious attitude that we’re going to change or improve them. There is so much we will bring back into our own systems of learning through that.
Three, we will then link with many many institutions in India and hopefully over here in the U.S. where we will offer innovation projects that will enhance the curriculum and innovation in every sense of the term. The rule is that there are no rules. That is the rule that drives the center.
Four, Dr. Pitroda may feel a little let down, but for reasons of practical thing we are offering a formal degree program also. I would have loved not to make it formal. I would have loved to do that and God willing in the near future we will not have to do that, but it’s a formal program where people can come. However, there is room for people to come in, whether they want credit or not, learn and go back. And I believe other institutions of India are also wanting to do this. Some are already probably doing that.
If that happens many things will happen with American universities, and we will follow that up.
Director Grotsky: That very much ties into my initial question, of how to encourage more students to come to India. These types of innovation clusters that you mentioned, very very exciting, that I think will be very attractive to American universities and to the students to participate.
Minister Sibal the other day said that India is where the problems are. We have these problems. We need to solve these problems in India, not from afar. Bring in the people who have interest in researching climate change, interest in researching water and food scarcity issues, bring them in to India. In the same way with an innovation cluster like this, bring our students in so that they can collaborate side by side with the DU students as well. Thanks.
Dr. Cohon: I’d like to comment and build off something that Dr. Singh just said.
I think you give American universities much too much credit when you say that we are reinventing ourselves. At some level that may be true and I’m sure there are some presidents who understand that that has to happen. I think we would all agree at some level that has to happen. But if you asked 100 faculty on the Yale campus or my campus, so what are you doing to reinvent yourself, they would look at you like you were crazy. They’re not changing and they have no desire to change. They’re very self-satisfied with the way things work.
This is one reason, by the way, which I think many universities are attracted on your national collaborations and that’s the point that you made early on that I want to emphasize. Yale Singapore give them a chance to invent something entirely new that they simply can’t do in New Haven because they’ve got this hide-bound faculty that they have to deal with. We’re experiencing the same thing and we hope and expect this will happen in our collaboration with the new Shiv Nadar University outside of Delhi. That kind of opportunity to green field experimentation is a way for older institutions to change, and it can be quite compelling.
Director Grotsky: Thank you. Professor Dhande, you had a comment as well?
Dr. Dhande: I would like to say that the Indo-U.S. higher education collaboration needs an architecture, and to me that architecture is a four-layer architecture. At the top is the establishment of the platforms which are well recognized, which are functional platforms. The second one is the framework. There are specific infrastructure issues or other type of framework that is the second layer which is the framework. The third layer will be the activities. There can be activities which are time bound and they are sustainable activities. Both are essential. The fourth layer is the people.
So I think it is a four layer architecture of people, activities, framework and platforms. I think all four of them should be well designed moving forward as a part of the summit.
The other important thing that I learned from the ongoing discussion is really in ‘60s when the Americans established IAD it was not the brick and mortar aid that was important, a new model of education called science based engineering education was invented together. I think today there is a need for innovating jointly a low cost high quality next generation education and that is what Dr. Pitroda was mentioning. I think these are the two important conclusions I feel out of the morning that I understood.
Director Grotsky: Thank you, and we’ll build on that a little bit. I do want to open up to another question from the audience and then I promise to take a question from Twitter as well. The Twitter sign just came up. Please, sir.
Voice: I want to describe three different experiences we have. I am Dr. [inaudible], I founded and run the educational institution [inaudible]. I’m responsible for funding it, running it and making successful.
Director Grotsky: A brief question, please.
Voice: I am making a small statement if I’m permitted.
Director Grotsky: Just a brief question. We have the whole panel here for the statements, please sir.
Voice: It’s not a question. It’s an experience I think should be shared. We started in 1991 with the collaboration with Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire. We had a very strange term. The President asked me, there is just enough to support one faculty member for a year, so we started with a student here, $300 per student. We tell them [inaudible]. We have already 3,000 joint certifications. Number one.
Two, a couple of years ago we started an experiment with Ohio State University, how to build this trust institution to institution. We are running a small program with Ohio State University [inaudible] responsible academic outcomes, and we do everything else. They are responsible but they’re not responsible [inaudible], but they’re responsible for [inaudible].
Third one, [inaudible] certification education program under a new name called Ember. We are the partner for them in certifying American Indian financial services participants who can meet standards. The problem for them was to build a trading room, live trading room which is required. Such a complex thing.
Back about 15 years ago I was [inaudible] Dr. Severs from the Financial Innovative Labs, which subsequent when he went to Georgia State I finally found him. With his small help we built a very low cost live trading room in Bombay. That helped establish [inaudible]. The point I’m making is, is not really that peer to peer, friend to friend is required. Institution to institution is possible, is very successful, and all our collaborations have lasted nearly 20 years. Thank you.
Director Grotsky: Thank you very much.
Let’s go with one more question from the audience. Questions, please.
Voice: I think that you’ve touched on a lot of very important issues and how institutions can collaborate bilateral, multilateral. One thing that hasn’t been addressed yet, particularly the prospect of sending more than 3,000 American students to India in addressing the imbalance of over 100,000 Indians coming here is the stigma that India has with today’s young population and even just the general population at large I think here in America, that India is a poor place, it’s an unsafe place, it’s a dirty place. I’ve been working in higher international education for about ten years now. We have a program in our business in Western Europe, Australia, and we tend to go where the demand is and it’s not in India.
So I wonder if there’s anybody that could address that stigma, how we might plow through that stigma and whether or not there’s a need through this initiative or some kind of platform for a general marketing campaign which breaks down that stigma a bit and puts India in the best light. Adam, you might be one of the best ones to comment on that given your past position in Study Abroad offices and working directly with students and now being in India and working with the Fulbright-Nehru program. I’m just curious about how we can break down that stigma to get some of the ball rolling while these institutional relationships continue to build.
Director Grotsky: Thanks for the question. I am going to actually ask one of my panelists to answer. I will just simply say that I think the most important thing is to get people on the ground. I think that stereotypes can be broken down through Study Abroad programs and I think what you’re saying is that we’re not going to get more students because of these stereotypes. I would argue that it’s the responsibility of institutions to help break down these stereotypes, get students abroad, and recognize that India is a lot of things, a very diverse, dynamic place.
I’ll leave my comments at that and we can talk more about that during the break, but I’ll let Dr. Dhande speak to it.
Dr. Dhande: In fact I have listed ten steps that Indian institutions should take to improve this situation. I think foreign student advisors offices, in terms of how marketing of the situation or the programs can be done in the U.S.. The infrastructure, food, hygiene, health care. The regulation in terms of visa and other procedures. I think there is a need for this platform to debate the details and then come out with a different set of facilities. There is a need for the ten points to be addressed. Right now we will take a break, because there is a session on it.
Director Grotsky: There’s a session non it. We’ll be able to talk in length at the breakout session.
Dr. Cohon: I can’t resist jumping in because this is like the fifth time that the imbalance has been addressed. I don’t really get this. 100,000 Indian students are coming here to get degrees. These aren’t student exchanges. We have one percent of them ourselves at small Carnegie Mellon University, almost a thousand Indian students and that’s not counting India-Americans. Just Indian students.
So it’s not an imbalance. Do we really expect 100,000 American citizens to go to India to get degrees? Would India want 100,000 Americans to do that? I don’t think so. It’s certainly desirable that every American know more about India, if that’s what we’re talking about fine. But these are two completely different things.
Director Grotsky: Dr. Kanter, you wanted to comment as well?
Dr. Kanter: I was just going to say that I think back to my nephew who just spent a number of weeks in Calcutta. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania this last June. He went, his roommate was from that area. They went with a whole team of young people who worked with a team of experts to solve a very pressing problem. So I think it’s about thinking through how India presents opportunities for social change that will inspire young people who will want to go and I talked to him, I gave him actually before he left, I said here’s a check. I don’t know when you’re going to use it, but you’ll have it to use. We have to use this as an opportunity to inspire Americans to be part of changing both our countries for the better in terms of social responsibility, the science that they can apply because they’re solving that problem and they want to then go ahead and get a degree or go on and not get a degree, but become a leading scientist or an anthropologist as I said before. I think it’s how we talk about the opportunities in our country.
America has 90 million adults with little or no college. We have the very same problems that India has on a larger scale because it simply has -- you have a six-fold problem, we have a one-fold problem. So I think we can really talk about this because I think it has to be fundamental to how we position the strategy and how many levels and how we can scale not only replicate what’s working so well in both our universities and community colleges, but then try to scale what works in a way that will continue to draw many many more thousands of students to go both ways.
I just want to close with a comment about Esther Barazone who runs Chatham University. That institution made a significant commitment to internationalize. The faculty there, you talk about the faculty being complacent or being happy with the way things are, that’s very true. But the faculty there decided that cultural competency, global competency was going to be a value of every graduate. They actually have embedded, and they actually had every student have an international experience, and it’s a way that the whole institution has embraced globalization in a very very significant way. They have a large nursing program, all kinds of programs. But I just think it’s that kind of commitment that we need to think through in terms of a strategy, how can you scale a lot of those opportunities to really create the exchanges that will produce I think a robust democracy in both our countries that we share so much.
Director Grotsky: Thanks.
I’ve got to open up a question to Twitter.
Voice: A question from USIEF in Delhi. How can we leverage --
Director Grotsky: That doesn’t seem fair. That’s my organization. [Laughter].
Voice: How can we leverage Mr. Pitroda’s National Knowledge network to deepen university partnerships between the U.S. and India?
Dr. Dhande: It’s kind of a basic infrastructure as I say, and to me, that is absolutely possible, there is no question about it, that end game has to be exploited in a cost-effective way. So that we have got a college, I’m not talking about IITs and IMTs, I’m taking about [inaudible] government college wanting to talk to somebody in USA. I think it is possible because we do have the main pipeline which is connecting at a very high bandwidth and then there are connections to 10,000 academic institutions which has to be increased to 25,000. But that person who is at that lowest level can then contact an academic person whom he or she would like to establish that academic connection. So I think it is possible, people who would like to do it. Again the question is preparing the framework and the platform. Once that is accomplished I think we can break that taboo.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
Dr. Singh: I would very quickly like to add a little to that, so let me draw a quick analogy. In the early part of the 20th Century at the British rule in India, it is a vast country and was not very well linked until they introduced the railways. Built railway lines which went north, south, east, west and connected most parts of India. But those lines would be of no use until the trains carried goods and people and services to them. And that united and transformed India in so many ways. That is exactly how the National Knowledge Network will work. Already it is working.
In my university we are accessing courses from IIT Mumbai for my students. We are building a mechanism that will if necessary give credit transfer too, but at this point in time knowledge is being transferred. We are holding conferences, we are asking --
And let me add something. The network is in place in my university. Just a few days ago my son who is 17 years of age, is studying in my university, physics. I caught him one day on his laptop accessing two papers using that network, one through a Russia site and another through an American site, moving with ease and felicity between the two. In 1906 paper of Albert Einstein, and a 2006 paper which builds in many ways upon that, completely through the network. That will change India.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
We have a question.
Assistant Secretary Blake: Actually not a question, I’d just make a very brief comment. There have been several questions about is the United States State Department going to try to promote internships and other opportunities for young students in India. I wanted to say we’re doing a lot because we really believe that it’s so important for America’s young people to understand more about India and more about why this is such an important strategic partnership for the United States. So we, under the direction of Secretary Clinton with the help of Dr. Molly Tease who is an education advisor in my bureau, have set up a program we call the Passport to India.
The idea behind that, it will be a private sector supported initiative to create and make available a platform on-line for all of the various opportunities that universities are offering, but also very importantly, business internships that will be available that will be supported by both the U.S. private sector in India as well as the Indian private sector. So we hope to create this on-line platform. We’re going to house it in a university. We’re still talking to several universities about where exactly to do this, but we’re hoping that this will provide one central place where people can go about opportunities to go spend between three weeks and six months in India.
We think it’s going to be a really terrific opportunity, and it will also be a nice way to mobilize private sector support both to offer those internships but also to help support them. Because I, in traveling around the country here in the United States, I’ve heard numerous people in the Indian Diaspora who have been very very supportive of the idea and would be glad to help out.
So I just wanted to reassure you, we are working very hard on this and we hope to have a very concrete announcement very soon about how everybody can get involved. Thank you.
Director Grotsky: Thanks very much Assistant Secretary Blake.
We’re not going to have time to get to all of the breakout sessions unfortunately, but we’ll probably have time for another question, and first a comment by Dr. Ramasami.
Dr. Ramasami: Just some information. The NKN. We have a [inaudible] network connectivity to NKN. Connecting U.S. with the Indian and NKN system. So it will give us another hardware connectivity. I just give that as input.
Director Grotsky: Question:
Voice: I just thought you might like to do a rapid fire round with the panelists on what are the top three things that they think can be a take-away from this.
Director Grotsky: That sounds perfect. Rapid fire gets everybody involved. Can we start with you, Professor?
Dr. Garimella: I don’t know how rapid and how fiery, but one thing we didn’t talk about is economic development through research universities. I don’t know how much of a focus that is in India, but certainly our own experience with that has been that a large research university is often under-recognized for what it can do in its community. You can actually bring about a huge amount of up-liftment in terms of business and economic development, workforce development and so on. And I guess rapid fire. If people are interested in that I’d be happy to talk to them about it, with our experience with it.
Director Grotsky: Dr. Bhan?
Dr. Bhan: I think we need large-scale expansion of the faculty development opportunities and I don’t see a mechanism to handle that, and I made that point earlier. The United States is a fantastic opportunity for learning innovation, and I think some of the exchange should be directed to really internalizing what drives this ecosystem through this collaborative, and the bio design is a great example of that.
There is also the sector where you can make transformational difference in the way you deliver things. And I think ICT and education and ICT and health care. And if you ask me one thing that really appeals to young people all over the world today which is different from our generation, it’s making a difference. Where you use developing countries not as a problem but as an opportunity to make a difference. We haven’t said this to the young people today and I have heard this many times. Now the question is we can’t attract them to the team without being willing and able for participation. So you build the attraction but you also provide the security and support systems to handle the, to look after them.
So these are the two areas.
Director Grotsky: Thanks, Dr. Bhan.
Dr. Steger: My only comment would be that scaling up this enterprise is a huge complex task and you can learn a great deal by pursuing a pilot project. So I guess what I would say in a few seconds is to choose a pilot project and then do it and you’ll learn a great deal.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
Dr. Singh: I would suggest that we build an umbrella platform that’s largely virtual and draws on all the experiences, all the wisdom that exists in all these situations, collects there in some form and largely through an open system veins out. That I think would make a difference.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
Under Secretary Kanter: I had the same thought, that you have a what works center for institutions both in the U.S. and in India, and the best and the brightest. You recognize, you reward, you incentivize and you scale those practices that are actually producing more outcomes, more culturally competent students, more exchanges that are faculty/student. Student and faculty collaboration. Forms of research like we heard about this morning, and put that out for the communities to see in an open source environment because it will get better and better over time.
Director Grotsky: Thank you.
Secretary Ramasami: I would suggest here a new pedagogy initiative for new education system.
The education system has gone from transformations from enlightenment to employment I think we should look at empowerment. The pedagogy initiatives would be very different that would lead to one of those. I believe there is a joint initiative that you bring people into the process. We talk about the platforms. I think the platform has to have an institutional framework. Fundamentally the institutional framework which also has to recognize, in this particular case, there are different stakeholders’ education. It’s not just only distribution, there are different stakeholders in this. The manner in which we elicit input from the learning group is very important, the academics, the research, and industry. A very important component because the ultimate users is people in industry and the society, and social groups. I think the institution must have the five spokes. I really believe eventually this will enable us to have sufficient energy and resource. Otherwise it will still remain pious intention but not captured. I think these are the three issues.
Director Grotsky: Thank you very much.
Dr. Cohon: I’ve got three. Be very clear about your objectives and recognize that the various parties may have different objectives. Be very clear about your objectives. Be very clear about your objectives. [Laughter]. It’s kind of like real estate.
Director Grotsky: Thanks.
Dr. Dhande: I mentioned this earlier. I’ll just repeat. Create an architecture. That is very important for sustainability. The second one is innovate a new model of education which will be a very strong bond of U.S.-India education collaboration.
Director Grotsky: Thank you so much.
We need to wrap up. I just want to say what an honor it has been for me to moderate this plenary. I never would have imagined. I studied abroad in India 23 years ago as a student in the University of Wisconsin’s College Year in India Program. I would have never imagine that a quarter century later I would be moderating such a session and be involved in such an important dialogue between India and the United States. This has been a wonderful discussion.
In closing I’d like to again invite Dr. Vibha Puri Das, do you have any final remarks that you’d like to make to the group?
Secretary Das: I would only say that, just to take on the same three points, firstly scaling up significantly the institution to institution partnering that we have been witnessing over the years, started more than 50 years ago when the likes of IITs were set up. Then the systemic opportunities that we need to be creating for making this possible. The systemic opportunities, maybe it’s a framework or it’s a platform or whether even as a virtual reality, we need to be looking at. Thirdly to take advantage of the ICT mechanism that we have put in place and the backbone that is already there. And lastly, most importantly, to have a cross-border exchange of ideas and faculty. Faculty recharge, faculty empowerment is a key concern that we need to be addressing in India, and this needs to be centered in our discussion. And alongside of the faculty empowerment is the community college and the vocational enhancement programs that we need to be looking at. So maybe those models of collaboration along these teams is something that I would recommend. Thank you.
Director Grotsky: Thank you so much.
I think the panelists today have really done a good job of setting the stage for this afternoon’s breakout sessions. If you could help me thank the panelists.
I believe Deputy Assistant Secretary Jim Moore has a few words before we break.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Moore: Thanks very much to our panelists throughout the morning and to our audience. You’ve done a terrific job in covering a lot of ground.
This concludes the first half of our U.S.-India Higher Education Summit Program. One announcement, some of you have asked about accessing the wireless network while here. To do so select Other and type in yeswearegeorgetownuniversityHOYAS. That’s
H-O-Y-A-S, all capital letters. No password required.
We now invite you to join us for lunch on the lawn in front of Heally Hall. With the exception of a couple of reserved tables lunch is open seating so please feel free to sit wherever you’re comfortable. We very much look forward to hearing from our guest of honor, Ambassador Nirupama Rao and our keynote speaker Ambassador Richard Celeste during the second part of the lunch program. Thank you very much.