Yale University unveils new India initiative

November 17th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Yale University has committed $30 million to a new Yale India Initiative that will increase the US Ivy League university’s engagement with India and South Asia. The Yale School of Nursing Activities will announce a tie-up with Indian universities for a new nursing curriculum to ensure better intervention and care for HIV/AIDS patients next month as the first joint programme under the initiative.

Announcing the initiative here Monday, university President Richard C. Levin said the rise of India since the 1990s into a nation of economic and geopolitical consequence has compelled Yale to create new faculty and curriculum across arts and sciences to expand the university’s visibility and engagement with India by vigorous students’ recruitment efforts, faculty and student exchanges, research partnerships and leadership education.

Yale expects to raise at least $20 million from donors next year. The university will need endowment resources of $75 million for the entire initiative to come into force with all its planned additions across India and South Asia.

It is one of the few universities in the world which provides need-blind admissions under which a student’s financial condition is not taken into account at the time of admission. “We usually meet the students’ financial needs,” Joseph said.

“Yale will provide a deep and rich curriculum covering all aspects of Indian civilisation - its languages and literature, religions, history, politics, economics and society. We also need to engage with problems that confront contemporary India: equitable and sustainable economic development and public health,” Levin said.

The initiative has received start-up endowments from Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, who gifted $5 million, and a leadership grant from Dinakar Singh.

Nilekani, co-founder and co-chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited and his wife Rohini, the chairperson of the Arghyam Trust and Pratham Books, serve on the Yale President’s Council on International Activities and the Leadership Council of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies respectively.

This commitment reinforces Yale’s position as a truly global university. We expect more connections between Yale and India to the years ahead,” Nilekani said.

Yale has four education programmes in India, most of which are new. They are the India-Yale Parliamentary leadership Programme for politicians, the Yale “Bulldogs in India” programme for interns, the South Asian Studies Council and a module for professionals that will roll off December.

“The programme is very broad-based. Yale will not only increase in presence in India, but Indians will also increase their presence in Yale. The university currently has 135 students pursuing undergraduate programmes- the second largest Asian community - after China. Most of them are studying for degrees in business management, public health and environment,” assistant secretary of the University, George Joseph, said.

Indian students are usually are on the top of the merit rosters in Yale. They are known for their social leadership qualities.

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