The letter of intent was co-signed by Milliken and the Director of IIT Delhi, Prof. R.K. Shevgaonkar, who was a visiting professor in UNL’s computer and electronics engineering program at the Peter Kiewit Institute in 2000-01. His relationship with the University of Nebraska was renewed in 2009 when Milliken visited India. Shevgaonkar subsequently visited Omaha and met with faculty of UNO’s College of Information Science & Technology, which led to discussions of potential collaborations in cyber security and information assurance – a rapidly growing area that is of great interest to governments and the private sector.
“This is an important new collaboration with IIT Delhi that will allow us to leverage our strengths in a number of key areas across the University to focus on an issue of strategic global importance,” Milliken said. “We have developed a great relationship with IITD, which is known around the world as a leader in education and research in science and technology, and I am excited about the opportunities it will provide for our students and faculty.” Milliken noted that the new partnership aligns with NU’s global engagement strategic plan, focusing on leading institutions such as IIT Delhi in a limited number of countries such as India, with mutual interests, high quality institutions and commitment to mutual investment. He added, “The outcome of the work will be important to our students and faculty and also to Nebraska.”
The letter of intent is the first step toward a more detailed agreement that will further define the relationship with IIT Delhi. Areas of potential collaboration include cyber security and information assurance at UNO's College of IS&T, but will likely include additional areas. In discussions at IIT Delhi following the Kerry meeting, Shevgaonkar and Milliken discussed mutual interest in law and policy relating to cyber security. UNL has the only graduate law program in the country in space, cyber, and telecommunications, which may yield additional partnership opportunities. In addition, UNL's engineering programs and UNMC's programs in bioinformatics may provide good opportunities. Ultimately, the collaboration is expected to provide more opportunities for students to study in India, and to participate in internships and research, for Indian students to study in Nebraska, and for faculty exchanges, conferences and research partnerships.
The University of Nebraska has developed a number of other strategic partnerships in India including water and food security, entrepreneurship and management, education and early childhood development, and public health.
Contact: Sharon Stephan