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Home > Resources > Task Order 15: Data for Education Programming in Asia and the Middle East (DEP/AME) Submission of Deliverables for: Support for Development of Indian Institutes of Technology

Task Order 15: Data for Education Programming in Asia and the Middle East (DEP/AME) Submission of Deliverables for: Support for Development of Indian Institutes of Technology

Executive Summary
In October 2014, RTI International received a request from the US Agency for International
Development (USAID) under Data for Education Programming in Asia and the Middle East
(DEP-AME) to provide background on the US Government (USG) historic support of Indian
Institutes of Technology (IITs). The background paper was to support USG and Government of
India (GOI) bilateral cooperation in the development of a new generation of IIT. Following the
delivery of this initial briefing paper, entitled U.S. Government Support for the Indian Institutes
of Technology: Reflections on the Past and Considerations for the Future (30 October 2014), the
USG and GOI decided to support the new IIT in Gandhinagar (IITGN), and RTI was enlisted to
provide diagnostic and capacity development support for this initiative.
An intensive one-week study tour was carried out during May 2015 to the United States for four
IITGN senior administrators and one USAID staff. The group visited USAID, the US-India
Business Council, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), Columbia University and the New
School (New York City), Olin College of Engineering and Babson College (Boston), and Duke
University (North Carolina). University visits were held in advance of a Business Roundtable
event held in May 2015 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Titled the “Advancing Research
Commercialization, Second-Generation Indian Institutes of Technology and Forming New
Collaborations,” the Roundtable featured Professor Sudhir K. Jain, founding Director of the
IITGN, who led discussions on potential partnerships with businesses and U.S. universities in
advancing research commercialization and second-generation IIT, as well as faculty
development and strengthening external relations and financing. The GOI was provided with an
opportunity to present its priorities on higher education and to dialogue on how India can build
world class research centers and universities.
This study tour and the dialogues that resulted from it solidified a foundation upon which
USAID technical assistance support for the IIT could proceed. The major areas of focus for this
work were rooted in (1) research promotion; (2) improved marketing, communications, and
external relations; and (3) improved administrative procedures and capacity. Interest in a US
university peer to support IITGN and build a lasting partnership beyond limited DEP-AME
support was established. RTI identified and contracted the services of Duke University through
an open, competitive process that saw multiple universities interested in supporting this
initiative. Duke University, a top-20 global university, is also a young university (80 years old)
intent on developing new ideas and innovating in higher education that resonated with the vision
and goals of IITGN. Duke’s involvement was further a good fit as it has in place a strategic plan
for enhanced engagement in India, which promotes sustained interest in a partnership with
IITGN. The launch of this collaboration was formally announced by President Obama and Indian
Prime Minister Modi in a joint Presidential Announcement.
Author(s): 
Eric Johnson, RTI International
Date Published: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
12.58 MB