Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs has announced a partnership with the Administrative Staff College of India that will increase opportunities for the faculty of both institutions and strengthen IU's presence in a nation that is home to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
The agreement is the result of months of meetings and a preparatory trip to India last year by IU President Michael A. McRobbie.
IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret, IU Treasurer Mary Frances McCourt and SPEA Associate Dean David Reingold signed an "Agreement for Scholarly Cooperation" with ASCI Director General Siripurapu K. Rao.
"This is a landmark agreement for Indiana University," Zaret said. "By exchanging faculty and jointly organizing major events, SPEA and ASCI will both benefit, and so will the nation of India and the state of Indiana."
The agreement calls for an "exchange of professors and other academic and administrative personnel for lectures and for research projects and for the purpose of discussing questions of mutual cooperation as well as for the joint formation of international seminars."
Additionally, SPEA in Bloomington, Ind., and ASCI in Hyderabad, India, agree to organize a program on public policy for Indian civil servants and a conference on the management of global cities.
"We are so excited to be part of this agreement bringing together two outstanding institutions of higher learning, both dedicated to producing leaders in government, nonprofit management and business," Reingold said. "This will raise our international profile and help our students learn from faculty with intimate knowledge of one of the world's largest democracies."
While this is one of the first faculty exchanges between IU and India, Indian nationals make up the third-largest group of international students at IU, with approximately 800 students. The university also has about 2,100 alumni who are Indian citizens, including 400 living in India.
Reingold said SPEA adjunct professor Sumit Ganguly, an internationally known expert on contemporary India and South Asia, and RajendraAbhyankar, a retired Indian diplomat, played a critical role in arranging the agreement. Ganguly holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations and is a professor of political science at IU. Abhyankar is also a SPEA adjunct professor and teaches a course on the art of diplomacy.
"This agreement holds considerable promise for both institutions as it provides the academic foundation for scholarly exchanges, shared research opportunities and the expansion of professional networks for colleagues at IU Bloomington and ASCI," Ganguly said. "Faculty from a range of disciplines should stand to benefit immensely thanks to this partnership."
ASCI is headquartered in the palace of a former prince, in the city of Hyderabad in south-central India. Since it was founded in 1956, more than 75,000 participants from industry, government and non-governmental organizations in India and the developing world have taken advantage of nearly 200 management development programs offered by ASCI.
SPEA was founded in 1972. It is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are ranked by the National Academy of Science as the best in the country.