The Yale India Initiative promotes the study and teaching of India and South Asia both in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and in the Professional Schools, while also creating a platform for innovative leadership education programs. Leadership gifts from Rohini and Nandan Nilekani and Dinakar Singh ’90 in 2008, created two Chairs in India and South Asian Studies and enabled Yale to leverage its own resources and fundraising to catalyze the Yale India Initiative. Subsequent gifts have created the Tandon Chair in Hinduism and the Dhawan Chair in India and South Asian Studies, funded activities in several Professional Schools, and supported various programs administered by the South Asian Studies Council as well as the development of leadership training programs. The broadest and most ambitious interdisciplinary effort of its kind to date, the Yale India Initiative establishes Yale among the world’s pre-eminent institutions for the study of and engagement with India and South Asia. In its first three years, the Yale India Initiative created new faculty positions and new curriculum, both in South Asian Studies and across a variety of Humanities and Social Sciences Departments, developed research partnerships in India, and established leadership education programs which are working with several Government of India agencies, institutes of higher education, business corporations and non-profit or civil society organizations in India.
Since the launch of the India Initiative, Yale’s expertise in South Asian Studies has grown substantially with new tenured and tenure-track faculty appointments across the humanities and social sciences. With the completion of faculty searches in Fall 2012, a dozen new faculty with expertise in India and South Asia will have joined Yale since 2009. In addition to faculty appointments, Yale’s program of visiting faculty and post-doctoral fellows in South Asian/Indian Studies is now the largest of any U.S. university.
Yale’s professional schools have expanded their teaching and research, as well as their outreach to the region. Among the many recent examples are the Yale School of Nursing’s activities to develop a new nursing curriculum for HIV/AIDS in India in collaboration with the William J. Clinton Foundation, India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Indian Nursing Council; the Yale China India Consumer Insights Program and the Program on Social Enterprise at the Yale School of Management; and a new Himalaya Initiative bringing together faculty and students across various Arts and Sciences Departments and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Students at Yale benefit from over 25 non-language course offerings on South Asia, as well as opportunities to pursue language instruction in Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu. Reflecting the growing strength of South Asia curricular offerings, the South Asian Studies Council now offers a South Asian Studies Major at Yale College, while over 30 graduate students are pursuing PhDs in departments such as Anthropology, Economics, History of Art, Political Science, Religious Studies, and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The Yale India Initiative, through the South Asian Studies Council, supports undergraduate and graduate student research in the region through annual, competitive, grants for language training, internships, service learning, and fieldwork for everything from senior projects and essays in Yale College to pre-dissertation research for graduate students planning extended research in India for their doctoral work.
Through the India Initiative, Yale has worked actively to develop a portfolio of leadership training programs. The annual India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program, initiated in 2007, brings to Yale distinguished members of India's Parliament for leadership education with Yale faculty. The Indian Forest Service Mid-Career Training Program hosts a group of Indian Forest Service Officers at Yale each year for an intensive two-week course at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The University Leaders Program was initiated in Fall 2011, with 24 Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Universities and Institutes in India coming to Yale for a ten-day course. This program establishes a partnership through the Human Resources Development Ministry of the Government of India with the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode. To meet India’s rapidly growing needs for high-quality higher education in liberal arts, technical, and scientific fields, these annual training programs for University leaders will build capacity for institutional innovation in higher education in India and facilitate learning from best practices worldwide.
India Initiative Archive
Yale Office of Public Affairs, President Levin Announces the Yale India Initiative, November 17 2008
Chronicle of Higher Education, Yale Announces Multimillion Dollar Effort in India, November 18 2008
The Financial Express, Yale Announces $75m India Initiative, November 18 2008
The Hindu, Yale University launches India Initiative, November 19 2008
Yale Alumni Magazine, A Giant Leap into South Asian Studies, January/February 2009
Yale Daily News, Evoking Sounds of South Asia, March 27 2009
Yale Daily News, Levin to Visit India, November 4 2009
Wall Street Journal, Yale to Focus on India, September 22 2010
The Hindu, IIM-Kozhikode, IIT-Kanpur to partner with Yale, October 29 2010
Chronicle of Higher Education, Yale’s President Talks About Its Plans for India, November 7 2010
Times Higher Education, From Where I Sit - Yale Makes India a Key Focus, April 14 2011
Yale Office of Public Affairs, Members of India’s Parliament Meet at Yale to Discuss Political-Social Challenges, June 15 2011
Yale Daily News, Yale, India to Increase Collaboration, September 28 2011
The Hindu Businessline, Yale garners $3.8 b during fund-raising campaign, July 6 2011
Times of India, Indo-US coop in education field poised for major expansion:Rao, October 5 2011
Times of India, Indo-American Edu Platform on Cards, October 15 2011