“Broadening awareness and understanding about India”
The India Center, supported by The India Group Annual Fund and Endowed Fund, The Anil and Chitra Deshpande India Program Endowed Fund and the India Studies Fund of the Global Connections Foundation, was established in 2012. It is housed in the Political Science Department in the College of Sciences at the University of Central Florida. The Center is overseen by two co-chairs, Kerstin Hamman, who also heads the Political Science Department, and John C. Bersia, who directs the Global Perspectives Office. The Center sponsors or co-sponsors public discussions involving prominent speakers, panels and other meetings; organizes an annual India forum; encourages scholarship and research; provides fellowships for UCF students; promotes academic and professional exchanges with institutions in India; seeks to establish partnerships in India; and works with complementary institutions worldwide to broaden awareness and understanding about India. During its four-year start-up period, the Center was housed in the Global Perspectives Office; in 2016, it moved to the College of Sciences.
Issues for the Center include: Politics (Democracy, U.S.-India Relations and Security); Economics and Business (Trade, Investment and Tourism and Development); Technology and Communication (Research, Innovation and Application); Culture (History, Arts, Music, Religion and Society); and Healthcare (Policy, Alternative Medicine/Treatments and Social Responsibility).
Members of The India Group include Braham Aggarwal, Dr. Gopal Basisht, Anil Deshpande, Dr. Pradipkumar Jamnadas, Sharad Mehta, Arvind Nandu, Tino Patel, Dr. Jogi Pattisapu, Dr. Yash Sachdev, Mike Shah and others. Any other person may, at any time, make additional contributions by gift or bequest to the “University of Central Florida Foundation, Incorporated” for The India Group Annual Fund or The India Group Endowed Fund. Please contact Ray Allen, Director of Development for the College of Sciences, at 407-823-1952 for assistance in making a contribution.
The Center grows from the success of The India Program at UCF, which was established in 2007. The idea for such a program was first advanced in 2002. Two years later, UCF led a Fulbright-Hays-funded project in India. Formal discussions for a program were launched in 2005, following the visit to the university by a high-level delegation of business and government leaders from India.