Yale to enlarge focus on India

September 22nd, 2010 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, Sep 22 (IANS) Yale University is planning to grow ties with India to at least equal its ties with China and make it a leading university in the US for teaching of India, according to a media report.

Yale was earlier “devoting pretty large resources to China,” but in 2008 and going forward the Ivy League school in New Haven, Connecticut, is devoting a “much wider portion of intellectual activities” to India, Yale president Richard C. Levin told the Wall Street Journal.

He said the number of students at Yale from China and India has doubled in the last 10 years but China still has more overall students (350 total) at Yale than India, which sends roughly 140 total graduate and undergraduate students of Yale’s 11,593 students.

“We hope to establish Yale as a leading, if not the leading, university in the US for teaching of India,” he was quoted as saying.

Rival institutions such as Columbia University in New York, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Chicago have formidable resources and connections to India, Levin said.

Elihu Yale lived in India for nearly three decades in business and government starting in 1670 and donated goods to the Connecticut school, a gift that connected his name to the institution.

Levin said that since 2008, Yale has added India specialists to faculty ranks in economics, political science, anthropology and other fields.

It has expanded conferences, research collaborations with India-based institutions. And it plans to engage the Indian diaspora with programmes and lectures in the US.

The school says it has devoted $30 million to the initiative since 2008 and has raised $15 million more from donors already.

Asked if Yale would open a campus in India, however, Levin said a planned undergraduate liberal arts college in Singapore that will explore East and West intellectual traditions, could be a beach head for Yale in Asia.

But “I don’t think we’re ready to start a university in India at the present time,” he told the Journal.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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