The India Center was originally established as The India Program at UCF 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, which increased interest in India and contributed to the importance of formalizing a program focused on India at UCF. 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. In subsequent years, The India Program provided an umbrella for a range of activities with a focus on India, including prominent speakers and events that furthered the understanding of India at UCF and in the Central Florida community.Based on its success, The India Program was re-conceptualized as the India Center in 2012. 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 and is housed in the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs.
Since its inception, the India Center has hosted a variety of events and notable speakers, ranging from Washington-based India experts to former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The Center has sent scholars to India to study and participate in international conferences, and received a variety of delegations from India. Over time, the Center has established a number of strategic partnerships. This solid foundation will enable the India Center to grow in the coming years.
Initial support came from 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. The Center is overseen by Dr. Kerstin Hamann, Director of UCF’s School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs.