India Working Group

The India Working Group is a venue for sharing information, discussing current trends and facilitating learning and work done by UF faculty and graduate students in India. The mission of the India Working Group is to facilitate collaborative projects in the areas of teaching and research among all faculty and staff, as well as to serve as a common space for faculty and researchers who have worked or are interested in working with higher education institutions in India.

Current Activities

Report on AUSIB Education Conclave

In the fall of 2011, Dr. Muthusami Kumaran attended the Alliance for US-India Business (AUSIB) Education Conclave to explore opportunities for collaboration with Indian universities and to discover the needs and interests of Indian partners. About 40 representatives from US state legislatures, 25 US university administrators and more than 100 administrators of Indian universities attended panel discussions regarding barriers, new policies for higher education in India, and the opportunities for Indian universities to network with their American counterparts. Representatives from more than 20 Indian universities met with Dr. Kumaran and expressed interests in developing partnerships with UF, especially in the areas of international business, medicine, pharmacy and engineering. Faculty in these areas interested in developing partnerships with Indian universities should contact Dr. Kumaran (kumaran@ufl.edu).

Potential internship opportunities for foreign IT students

Software company Engageinfo.com is reaching out to students who have Optional Practical Training (OPT) status to provide internship opportunities. Engageinfo.com will provide paid training, and will assist accepted applicants in job placement with IT companies. The India Working Group has agreed to invite engageinfo.com to an internship fair for IT students with OPT status. This internship fair would be coordinated by UFIC and others in computer science. With approximately 50 foreign students graduating this spring with degrees in IT and OPT status, the India Working Group plans to draw in the Indian Student Association to disseminate information for the job fair.

US-UK-India Higher Education Partnership – Call for Proposals

First Call for Proposals in New US-UK-India Higher Education Partnership

The British Council has announced the first trilateral strand of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) with the new Trilateral Research in Partnership (TRIP) Awards with the United States. Ten awards of up to USD $75,000 (£50,000) are available to support multidisciplinary research projects between UK, US and Indian higher education institutions for up to 2 years. This new UKIERI strand aims to increase the mobility of PhD and post-doctoral students in all three countries, and develop sustainable institutional links between the participating institutions. Proposals from all subject areas are welcome, including the humanities, social sciences, science and technology, and multidisciplinary research projects. All proposals need to include details of additional contributions from the three institutions involved. The deadline for submissions of proposals is April 13, 2012.

Dr. Linda B. Cottler and Fogarty Scholars

Dr. Linda B. Cottler was named the founding chair of UF’s Department of Epidemiology on February 14, 2011. Prior to her appointment at UF, she had been working at the Washington University School of Medicine. While at WUSM, she secured a Fogarty grant to collaborate with the National Institute for Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), the premier neuro psychiatric institute in India. This program allowed scholars and fellows to train in psychiatric epidemiology in the US for 6 months to 3 years and receive a research grant of up to $12,000 upon the scholar/fellow’s return to India. This grant transferred to UF with Dr. Cottler, and she also received an additional grant of $1.1 million that will allow UF to offer behavioral health training to counterparts in three states in India. The new grant also allows for US graduate students to travel to India to conduct research, and has recently expanded to two additional states. Since 2002, scholars have produced over 100 publications.

http://news.phhp.ufl.edu/2011/12/01/uf-receives-1-1-million-to-support-behavioral-health-training-research-partnerships-in-india/

Profile of one successful UF – India collaboration: Whitney Sanford

Dr. Sanford spent one year studying poetry in temples throughout India for her PhD. This led to her first book Singing Krishna: Sound Becomes Sight in Paramanand’s Poetry. Her second book is called Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture. It focuses on Hindu agricultural narratives and what we tell ourselves about food. Her current project is titled “Gandhi’s Environmental Legacy: What Gandhi Can Teach Us about Sustainability, Self-Sufficiency, and Social Justice” and examines how Gandhi’s thoughts have influenced US food and agriculture. Dr. Sanford’s work in India includes collaborating with the Water Institute at UF to send two graduate students to develop and install a water system in a village in India. The students, one from hydrology and the other from religious studies, considered the village’s needs with regards to gender, age, class, etc. before installing the water system. She co-taught a course on agricultural system technology and how religious ethics looks at agricultural systems, particularly in India. She works with Dr. Muthusami Kumaran to explore urban food systems and the behavioral and biological aspects of food. She is interested in working with people from different fields and conducting interdisciplinary research. In the fall of 2011, she and a professor from Agronomy co-taught a course on the science and culture of meals, called Foodscapes.

International Education Center

UFIC and the IEC are working to expand the number of certificates offered to include a broader array of opportunities for a larger number of Asian and Indian audiences. The IEC currently offers certifications for 2-week training courses in environmental sciences, natural resources, agribusiness finance, GIS for Landscape Analysis, and similar themes. These trainings are currently offered at a research institute in Hyderabad. Dr. K. Ramesh Reddy, the head of the Department of Soil and Water Science, is currently in charge of the IEC and its trainings. Opportunities to expand the subject matter for the 2-week training courses or for conferences are available. For more information, please go to www.iec.ufic.ufl.edu.

UF in India Study Abroad Program

The UF in India Study Abroad Program is currently full. This program focuses on NGOs and development; it offers hands-on opportunities in Chennai, New-Delhi, and Jaipur. Students interested in participating in the Summer B program can find more information here.

Cooperative Agreements

Click here for a list of cooperative agreements in India.

Contact Information

If you would like to be added to the working group listserv and to attend meetings, please contact Dr. Muthusami Kumaran, kumaran@ufl.edu.