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Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013

IU Bloomington provost keynotes conference on the future of higher education in India

March 22, 2013

BLOOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel presented at an inaugural three-day international conference in India focusing on the future of higher education there, which included Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the president of India.

Lauren Robel

IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel, left, was keynote presenter at "The Future of Indian Universities," joining India President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, far right, on the program.

Print-Quality Photo

Robel gave the Thursday keynote address at the conference, "The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative Perspectives on Higher Education Reforms for a Knowledge Society," at O.P. Jindal Global University, located just outside New Delhi in Sonipat.

She also participated in a panel discussion today, "Research, Knowledge Creation and Publications: Responsibilities of a University."

The conference has received national attention across India. The vice chancellors, presidents and deans of all of India's leading universities are participating.

"The prevalent state of our universities requires a very clinical examination as there is a perceived decline in their ability to serve as knowledge centers. In order to create world-class universities, we must learn from the institutions around the world," Mukherjee said in his address.

IU is committed to being involved in India. It recently opened its first international gateway office. Located in Gurgaon, it serves as a home base for IU student and faculty activities in the country. IU is a partner with several of India's leading universities, including O.P. Jindal and two campuses of the Indian Institute of Management (at Lucknow and Rohtak).

"It has been an immense honor to participate in this groundbreaking international conference taking place at our esteemed partner institution, O.P. Jindal," Robel said. "IU Bloomington's global influence and stature is both evident and enhanced by its participation in this event, which is making headlines across India.

"We have earned our place in this discussion through more than two decades of higher education collaboration in India, steadily building institutional partnerships with nine Indian universities, attracting what is now close to 1,000 Indian students currently at Indiana University, and this year establishing a physical presence in India through our new IU Gateway-India office in Gurgaon," Robel added.

Other scholars with IU ties joining Robel on the conference program include Narendra Jadhav, member of the Government of India's Planning Commission and a member of the National Advisory Council. Jadhav earned a doctorate in economics from IU in 1986 and went on to become a best-selling author, vice chancellor of the University of Pune and a director at the Reserve Bank of India. He will chair the conference's closing session on Saturday.

Also presenting is Jayanth Krishnan, professor of law and director of India initiative in the Center on the Global Legal Profession in the IU Maurer School of Law.

Other Indian dignitaries present at the conference include Shri Jagannath Pahadia, the governor of Haryana; Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the chief minister of Haryana; Pallam Raju, union minister of human resource development; Dr. Shashi Tharoor, union minister of state for human resource development; and Shri Naveen Jindal, chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University.

Indian institutions with which IU is currently affiliated include University of Hyderabad, Administrative Staff College of India, University of Pune, Confederation of Indian Industry, Elite School of Optometry and SHODH: Institute for Research and Development.