Continuing Yale’s ongoing efforts to strengthen ties with India, University President Richard Levin will leave for India tonight as part of a delegation of faculty, including School of Management Dean Sharon Oster, to speak at two conferences and meet with Indian leaders.
University representatives will participate in the India Higher Education Summit, at which Levin will give the keynote address, and the World Economic Forum India Eonomic Summit, where he will speak as part of a panel on education. Members of the delegation will also speak on environmental and economic issues.
“This trip will continue to build momentum for Yale’s India Initiative,” Levin said. “We want to make Yale more of a center of India study, as it has historically been for China, and we’re trying to build connections to Indian institutions and develop partnerships with Indian universities.”
Over the past several decades, Yale and China have developed over 80 research and educational programs together. Yale is one of the most recognized foreign universities in China, Levin said, and the University hopes to reach the same level of visibility in India.
The India initiative, announced last November, will draw from a $75 million endowment to expand faculty and curriculum in Indian studies at Yale, and bring students and scholars from India. The University will also aim to increase study and research opportunities for Yale students and faculty in India and raise Yale’s profile there by forging relationships with businesses, universities and other organizations, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs George Joseph said.
The Indian government plans to build what it hopes will be “world-class universities,” Levin said, and is looking to Yale for advice. Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal, who deals with higher education, was in New Haven last week to meet with Levin about University operations and strategies. He and Levin will both speak at the Higher Education Summit and the World Economic Forum.
Coinciding with these meetings is the 60th Yale CEO Global Leadership Summit, headed up by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean of executive projects at the School of Management, who arrived in India today. These summits, which first began in 1989 and have been held at least twice a year since, are invitation-only events which provide CEOs a forum for open discussion on corporate problem-solving based on their own successes and mistakes, Sonnenfeld said.
“We don’t make any effort to flatter the participants,” Sonnenfeld said. “We want them to learn from one another, and talk candidly about the issues they lose sleep over.”
This week’s summit will be the first to take place in India; previous meetings have been held in the United States and China.
The delegation will also host a reunion meeting for the over 40 members of the Indian parliament who have participated in the annual India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program, which since 2007 has brought members of the Indian parliament to New Haven and Washington to meet with Yale administrators and members of the United States government.
Levin and Rajendra Pachauri, director of the Yale Climate and Energy Initiative, will also speak on climate change and environmental issues at several events during the trip, including the India branch meeting of the international Climate Works Foundation — issues on which Levin said Yale hopes to take a leadership role.
Throughout the trip, Levin and other Yale representatives will meet with Yale alumni and parents as well as members of the Indian government, corporate sector and media, Joseph said.
President Levin and the rest of the delegation will visit Mumbai and New Delhi and will remain in India through the middle of next week.