Top US school looks at India as Asian hub:IANS

May 2, 2010 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

Following is a report by IANS published in http://www.thaindian.com:

By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 2 (IANS) A top American school of public administration associated with training India’s future administrators is now looking at making the country a hub for its activities in Asia in concert with the growing India-US strategic partnership.

Starting with a Ford Foundation initiative in the 1950s to help the then newly formed Indian government face administrative challenges, Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs has tied up with several top institutes in the country, including the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the partnership with IIMB in New Delhi, Syracuse University wants to “position Maxwell as one of the top international schools sought by India to help develop a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of public administration”.

Simultaneously, it’s looking at “growing India as a hub for Maxwell activities in Asia”, Dan Nelson, programme manager for India, told IANS in an e-mail interview.

In 10 years of partnership between the Maxwell School and IIMB, “We have developed a sustainable model that demonstrates one example of how US and Indian universities can work together to address the higher education needs within India,” he said.

“The partnership has enriched the policy discussion at both institutions, provided valuable examples that have helped develop teaching and research interests, and provided a solid foundation for future developments,” Nelson said.

Well aware that Indian students represent the largest group of foreign students studying in the US, Maxwell is also “watching the current discussions closely” over the Indian government’s proposal to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India.

“While at present there are no specific plans to set up a Maxwell campus in India, we do feel there is a lot to be gained by strengthening our ties with India and continuing to consider various options,” Nelson said.

With India emerging as a global power, “Our programmes with India have evolved so that both parties are better positioned to learn from each other’s experience as we jointly address many common global issues and look to gain new insights on issues that are unique to each country,” he said.

Asked what role he foresaw for Maxwell in furthering the US-India strategic partnership, Nelson said: “We feel the ties between the US and India will continue to expand and deepen in future and are grateful for the chance to study various aspects of this strategic partnership.”

Maxwell has been recently awarded a three-year contract to train mid-career professionals at the Indian Forest Service.

Custom-made for India, the programme will “focus on developing the officers’ understanding of the changing landscape for environmental policy making and implementation, both globally and domestically,” said Larry Schroeder, professor of public administration at Maxwell School.

“Our training is about sharing global best practices and also our knowhow,” he said noting there is a “growing realisation within the Indian government that the environment is a global issue to which India must contribute significantly as a developing nation.”

In the 1950s, the Maxwell School was asked by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to study and recommend various civil service reforms. Later Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who served as US ambassador to India during 1973-75, joined the Maxwell School to further the school’s interests with India.

Today “one of the strongest area studies programmes in Maxwell School is the South Asia Centre which includes a multi-disciplinary curriculum and outreach activities in the community,” said Schroeder.

“Currently we attract a steady stream of senior Indian officials to earn an executive masters of public administration degree or one of various specialised certificates.”

“One programme of particular note is our partnership with IIMB to deliver the post graduate programme in public policy and management (PGPPM), which has been running for eight years,” Schroeder said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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Entry filed under: Educational Policy, Higher Education, Higher Education Zone, India.

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