Four Indian American academics among five co-chairs, 15 members include nine of Indian descent
Four top Indian American academics are among five co-chairs of a new task force formed by the Association of American Universities (AAU) to study expanding research and higher education partnerships between the United States and India.
In addition nine more academics of Indian descent figure among 15 members of the task force created by AAU in coordination with the Biden administrationâ€™s India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), which seeks to grow technological and industrial collaboration between the two nations.
The task force will meet monthly to determine key focus areas for bilateral research and education cooperation, to identify existing programs that could provide blueprints for future partnerships, and to formulate strategies on how best to move forward, according to an AAU press release.
Founded in 1900, the AAU is composed of Americaâ€™s 65 leading research universities.
Read: AAU task force to bolster US, India university alliances (March 6, 2023)
The four Indian American co-chairs of the AAU Task Force on Expanding United States-India University Partnerships are: The Pennsylvania State University President Neeli Bendapudi, University of California San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi, and current Johns Hopkins University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Sunil Kumar (who is set to become president of Tufts University on July 1). University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones is the fifth co-chair.
â€œIt is nearly impossible in todayâ€™s world to make advancements in scientific research and technology without international collaboration and cooperation,â€ said AAU President Barbara R. Snyder.
â€œThis is why the Association of American Universities is proud to lead this effort to strengthen relationships between leading US and Indian research universities and to lay the groundwork for shared future scientific and economic success.â€
â€œAt Penn State we have long believed that meeting the global challenges of our time requires cooperation and collaboration across individuals, institutions, and nations,â€ said The Pennsylvania State University President Neeli Bendapudi.
â€œI am honored to be selected to co-chair this talented and dedicated team â€“ tasked by the White House â€“ to strengthen interdisciplinary partnerships between American and Indian universities to advance innovations in areas such as semiconductor technology, nuclear energy, unmanned vehicles, space exploration, AI, and digital infrastructure.
“Achieving peace and prosperity through the development of resilient, critical, and emerging technologies is a shared strategic imperative for the national security of the two largest democracies in the world,” she said. “Our participation reflects the valuable role Penn State plays in American higher education, and I look forward to bringing our research and academic expertise to the forefront to support this impactful collaboration.â€
â€œHigher education has an important role to play in cultivating intellectual and cultural collaboration and problem solving in todayâ€™s global economy,â€ said University of California San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
â€œAs the two largest democracies, a strong -India partnership in research and academia is essential for both countries â€“ and the world. UC San Diegoâ€™s recently launched 21stÂ Century India Center, an interdisciplinary, world-class think tank and hub for scholarly research, education, and public engagement, focuses on facilitating dialogue, advancing collaboration between our great nations, and supporting sustainable growth that can help provide important insights to the work of this task force.â€
â€œI look forward to working closely with my esteemed colleagues to bridge cultural and technological gaps, anticipate emerging opportunities and challenges, and facilitate collaborative relationships in service of the greater good of our increasingly connected global society,â€ Khosla added.
â€œIt is an honor to be named to the AAU Task Force on Expanding United States-India University Partnerships,â€ said University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi.
â€œAs we forge and strengthen research and education partnerships with our colleagues in India, we will do so with an eye to bringing the benefits of this binational collaboration to our respective countries and our broader global societyâ€”all in service of the greater good,â€ he said.
â€œI look forward to helping cultivate these productive partnerships with our Indian higher education counterparts, and to building on the work we are doing at the University at Buffalo and across the AAU.â€
Johns Hopkins University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Sunil Kumar said that â€œThis effort to identify ways to bring the scientific communities in the two countries closer is timely and will prove very consequential to both countries.â€
Nine Indian American members of the task force are:
Venkataramanan â€œRaguâ€ Balakrishnan, dean of engineering, Case Western Reserve University;
Ravi V. Bellamkonda, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Emory University;
Venu Govindaraju, vice president for research and economic development, University at Buffalo;
Amita Gupta, chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University;
Rajesh K. Gupta, professor and Qualcomm endowed chair, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California San Diego;
Pradeep Khanna, executive associate vice chancellor for corporate relations and economic development, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign;
Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor for research, University of California, Irvine;
Padma Raghavan, vice provost for research and innovation, Vanderbilt University;
Ramamoorthy Ramesh, vice president for research, Rice University.
Six other members are:Â
Heidi Arola, director of global partnerships and director of the Purdue-India partnership, Purdue University;
Roger Brindley, vice provost for global programs, The Pennsylvania State University;
Katie Hrinyak, associate vice president for global initiatives and strategy, The University of Chicago;
Richard Lester, associate provost for international activities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Stephen D. Mull, vice provost for global affairs, University of Virginia;
Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of engineering, University of Southern California.