Milliken seeks new partnerships in India
University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken traveled to India in early December to meet with Indian federal and state officials, university and research institute leaders, foundations and the private sector to discuss opportunities for collaboration with the University of Nebraska. Milliken said that Indian scientists, faculty and government officials are eager to host Nebraska students for study and research and to work with faculty at the University, especially in the areas of water, agriculture, energy, health, engineering and education. He will meet with NU faculty this month to discuss new opportunities in international study and research partnerships, and strategies for pursuing them.
"India is a major world economic player and intellectual leader, and is already a significant trade partner for Nebraska," Milliken said. "We expect continued growth and investment in the state from India, and as such it is viewed as one of the University's most important strategic partners."
Discussions in India focused on opportunities for research collaboration in areas such as food security, water for food, and biofuels energy, with an emphasis on new knowledge pioneered by University of Nebraska researchers. "These areas – in which we have considerable expertise and a growing international reputation – offer the greatest potential for collaboration as both the U.S. and India look for common solutions to global challenges," Milliken said. He also discussed opportunities in early childhood development and education – another area of research strength at NU – and a range of health and biomedical issues.
Milliken began his visit in New Delhi where he visited Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, the Indian Council on Agricultural Research and the American Institute of Indian Studies. He then traveled to Kerala where he met with the Minister for Education and Culture and Kerala University leaders, and visited the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology, the Kerala Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, and Kerala Agricultural University's Agriculture College.
In Mumbai, Milliken met with officials of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and with Badrinarayan Barwale, an NU alumnus and CEO of Mahyco, a hybrid seed company, and other business leaders.
Nebraska enjoys long term relationship with India and the university has hosted thousands of students, faculty and researchers since India's independence in 1947, Milliken said. "The University of Nebraska benefits tremendously from Indian Americans and visiting scholars from India who are engaged in every area of endeavor in the university system. In all of our meetings in India we found significant interest in increasing faculty partnerships and establishing programs in areas including engineering, information technology and medicine."
Milliken's visit followed the recent state visit of Indian Prime Minister Mammohan Singh to Washington, which included pledges from Singh and President Obama for enhanced collaboration in education, science and technology.