Agreement lays groundwork for long-term partnership between NU, leading Indian institute

University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken has announced that NU has signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, one of the world’s leading technology institutes, to collaborate on research and education in the critical areas of information assurance and cyber security.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two institutions last Friday in New Delhi. It formalizes a letter of intent developed last summer as NU and IIT Delhi explored potential partnerships in areas of mutual interest and strength during the United States-India Strategic Dialogue, hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Indian Minster of Human Resource Development M. M. Pallam Raju. The agreement paves the way for long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations in engineering, technology, information management, the sciences and other areas, with an initial focus on information assurance and cyber security – areas important to Nebraska and around the world.

The agreement was signed by Milliken and IIT Delhi Director R.K. Shevgaonkar. Shevgaonkar was formerly a visiting professor at NU’s Peter Kiewit Institute; subsequent meetings with Milliken and faculty from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Information Science & Technology led to discussions about a more formal partnership between the two institutions that would leverage their respective strengths for greater benefit.

“The University of Nebraska’s growing relationship with IIT Delhi is a great example of our efforts to partner with institutions that share our commitment to addressing major global challenges,” Milliken said. “Cyber security and information assurance are critical to the stability of the world’s economy, the circulation of scientific and technological knowledge, and the reliability of the critical infrastructure on which we depend. It’s clear these areas are critical for Nebraska, India and the rest of the world. Our faculty are doing important work already and I’m confident our collaboration with IIT Delhi will help take our efforts to the next level.”

While in India, Milliken spoke at a cyber security workshop hosted by IIT Delhi, which was attended by a number of high-level Indian officials representing government, higher education and business. Milliken and faculty from UNO, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska Medical Center also met with leaders at the University of Delhi, another leading Indian institution, to discuss opportunities for research and exchange. Milliken also consulted with representatives from the American Embassy and the Fulbright Nehru Binational Commission.

The Memorandum of Understanding commits NU and IIT Delhi to engage in joint research projects, create opportunities for faculty and student exchanges, jointly organize conferences and workshops on relevant topics, and exchange information on relevant teaching materials and other relevant literature. NU will also assist IITD in the creation of a new Center for Cyber Systems and Information Assurance. The goal of the partnership is to enhance educational opportunities and expand knowledge in critical fields for students, faculty and other members of the NU and IIT Delhi communities.

Milliken noted that the partnership with IIT Delhi aligns with NU’s overall vision for global engagement, which focuses on mutually beneficial partnerships with leading institutions in key countries such as India. Other NU partnerships in India include those focused on water and food security, education and early childhood development, and medicine and public health.

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