University of Pittsburgh Delegation Travels Throughout India

By Pitt Global, University Center for International Studies

This spring, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher participated in an aarti puja ceremony on the banks of the Ganga in northern India. The ritual held special significance for the chancellor and the Pittsburgh delegation, as the ceremony was directed by the founder and spiritual leader of Pittsburgh’s Hindu Jain Temple, Swami Chidanand Saraswati, who now leads the Parmarth Niketan spiritual retreat center. Hundreds of pilgrims and local residents watched the chancellor and the group light lamps during the daily event. Earlier in the day, Muniji honored the group with warm words of welcome and support for Pitt’s growing investment in the development of Indian studies.

The Rishikesh visit was part of the University delegation’s extensive travels through India to strengthen existing partnerships, lay foundations for new programs and deepen connections with alumni networks.After Rishikesh, the delegation visited Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Mussoorie for meetings with corporate executives, central and state government officials and senior leadership from educational institutions.

We are grateful for the opportunity to focus on strengthening the intersections between India and the University of Pittsburgh while advancing key collaborations in the areas of innovation and research,” Chancellor Gallagher remarked at the start of the May travels.

Indian studies scholar Dr. Joseph Alter, director of Pitt’s Asian Studies Center, Dr. Ariel C. Armony, vice provost for global affairs, and Dr. Arjang A. Assad, dean of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration, were among other members of the Pitt delegation.

The University signed three new memorandums of understanding in Hyderabad. An agreement with the Indian School of Business (ISB), a premier institution at the cutting edge of Asian globalization, will allow the institutions to work together to develop programs focused on innovations in health care. The agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will result in new faculty research collaborations and student learning programs focused on inclusive innovation. And a broad-spectrum agreement with the Telangana State Council for Higher Education will open the door for Pitt partnerships with multiple institutions in the state.

Outside of Hyderabad, the delegation visited MediCiti, an innovative medical complex serving rural communities established by Dr. P.S. Reddy, UPMC professor of medicine and chairperson of SHARE India.

Three members of the Chancellor’s Global Advisory Council, all Pitt alumni, provided key assistance in planning the trip throughout India, Mr. Aditya Vikram R. Somani, chairman of Everest Tech, Ms. Archana Hingorani, founder of Siana Capital Management, and Mr. Abhishek Singh Mehta, founder and principal of Blue Lotus Investments.

Deepening and expanding its ties in Delhi early in the trip, the Pitt delegation had productive meetings with senior staff from the Office of the President of India and leadership from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the U.S.-India Educational Foundation and IILM University.

A highlight of the Mumbai visit was the chancellor’s speech at the prestigious Asiatic Society, where business leaders and scholars heard him present from the historic Durbar Hall stage about innovative public/private solutions to cybersecurity challenges.

The trip concluded with a visit to the Hanif Center for Outdoor Education and Environmental Study in Mussoorie, where the University runs the popular Pitt in the Himalayas study abroad programs focused on health, leadership and the environment. The delegation had an opportunity to hear from students who worked beside doctors and nurses in outreach mobile clinics serving local villages, and others who participated in field-based leadership programs in one of the most important regions of the world.

The 2019 India trip was a success by many measures. With the help of dedicated faculty and leadership, and with continued strong support from the Indian community of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh will build on the momentum of the 2019 delegation visit to strengthen its ties within the country.

To learn more about the University of Pittsburgh’s global partnerships and programs, visit  ♠


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