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IIT Gandhinagar and Duke University forge partnership with govt support


Palaj, Gandhinagar

Beginning January 5, a contingent from Duke University will visit IIT Gandhinagar (IITGN) for a week of partnership and capacity building events. The partnership is a result of a Joint Declaration of Intent, signed by the U.S. and Indian governments in January 2015, to deepen higher education collaboration.

With funding support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Duke University was selected by IITGN to receive initial support under the agreement. The two schools immediately found common ground for collaborative research, student exchanges, and joint engagement of private sector partners.

Highlighting the strategic importance of the partnership for Duke University, Larry Carin, Duke’s Vice Provost for Research, and delegation lead, said, “India is a special place for Duke, as seen in the number of students and alumni we have from India, the research collaborations our faculty have there, and our institutional partnerships across India. We are privileged to work with USAID and RTI International – our long standing partner in North Carolina – on this initiative with IITGN.”

From January 5-8, a 15-member contingent from Duke and RTI will work with IITGN faculty and staff to develop new research projects, improve IITGN capacity in critical areas, and discuss potential industry partnerships. The week’s events have been made open to other IITs through simulcast on the IIT-wide video network.

Welcoming the support and new partnership, Prof. Sudhir Jain, IITGN’s Director, added, “IITGN has carefully approached strategic global partnerships, seeking out like minded institutions who share our focus on transdisciplinary learning, student focused pedagogy, and cutting edge research that improves our shared community. Duke is exactly that type of partner.”

Speaking on the support being extended by USAID, Kathryn D. Stevens, Acting Mission Director, USAID/India, noted: “USAID and the IITs have a long history of partnership. After supporting India in establishing IIT-Kanpur in 1960s, the governments of both U.S. and India are once again collaborating to build IIT-Gandhinagar into a center of excellence for science and technology. The power of youth, technology and innovation is defining the U.S.-India relationship and igniting a partnership that will advance and sustain prosperity in our two countries.”