The following is an announcement from the Association of American Universities regarding the launch of the AAU Task Force on Expanding U.S.-India University Partnerships:
The Association of American Universities has appointed members and co-chairs to a new task force to study expanding research and higher education partnerships between the United States and India. The co-chairs of the AAU Task Force on Expanding United States-India University Partnerships include The Pennsylvania State University President Neeli Bendapudi, University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones, 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).
AAU has created this task force in coordination with the Biden administration’s U.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.
“It is nearly impossible in today’s world to make advancements in scientific research and technology without international collaboration and cooperation,” said AAU President Barbara R. Snyder. “This is why the Association of American Universities is proud to lead this effort to strengthen relationships between leading U.S. and Indian research universities and to lay the groundwork for shared future scientific and economic success.”
“At Penn State we have long believed that meeting the global challenges of our time requires cooperation and collaboration across individuals, institutions, and nations,” said The Pennsylvania State University President Neeli Bendapudi. “I am honored to be selected to co-chair this talented and dedicated team – tasked by the White House – 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. 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.”
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones said that “The challenges facing our society in the 21st century are global, interconnected, massive, and complex,” adding: “Solutions will require innovations, inventions, and ideas on a scale and at a speed that has never been seen in our history. This new initiative is going to build academic partnerships that cross national and political boundaries and build research collaborations that will harness the intellectual power of the greatest universities of our two nations. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has been an active, visible, and proud partner with universities and organizations in India for more than 75 years. We are excited about how we can use that experience to create a stronger, broader, and more resilient university network of innovation and discovery with our AAU colleagues.”
“Higher education has an important role to play in cultivating intellectual and cultural collaboration and problem solving in today’s global economy,” said University of California San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “As the two largest democracies, a strong U.S.-India partnership in research and academia is essential for both countries – and the world. UC San Diego’s recently launched 21st 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. I 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.”
“It is an honor to be named to the AAU Task Force on Expanding United States-India University Partnerships,” said University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi. “As 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 society—all in service of the greater good. I 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.”
Johns Hopkins University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Sunil Kumar said that “This effort to identify ways to bring the scientific communities in the two countries closer is timely and will prove very consequential to both countries.”
In addition to the co-chairs, the task force will also include the following members:
- Heidi Arola, director of global partnerships and director of the Purdue-India partnership, Purdue University
- Venkataramanan “Ragu” Balakrishnan, dean of engineering, Case Western Reserve University
- Ravi V. Bellamkonda, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Emory University
- Roger Brindley, vice provost for global programs, The Pennsylvania State 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
- Katie Hrinyak, associate vice president for global initiatives and strategy, The University of Chicago
- 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
- Richard Lester, associate provost for international activities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Stephen D. Mull, vice provost for global affairs, University of Virginia
- Padma Raghavan, vice provost for research and innovation, Vanderbilt University
- Ramamoorthy Ramesh, vice president for research, Rice University
- Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of engineering, University of Southern California
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