Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

April 19, 2005

Contact: Angie Joe
713.743.8153 (office)
713.617.7138 (pager)

New Partnership One of Three Affiliations with Indian Universities

HOUSTON, April 19, 2005 – To promote a better understanding of Indian culture and civilization, the University of Hyderabad and the University of Houston are joining forces to offer a new “Study India Program.”

The universities have signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate an exchange of scholars and students and offer students full credit courses in Indian studies, according to Parul Fernandes, director of UH’s International Studies and Programs.

The program will work to develop research, establish a resource center and help the Houston business community, said Krishna Vavilala, who initiated the project. In the future, he hopes to help create a chair for Indian Studies at UH with support from the 100,000 people of the Indo-American community living in the greater Houston area.

“We look forward to the expanded academic and cultural opportunities that this affiliation with the University of Hyderabad will bring,” said Jerald W. Strickland, interim senior vice president of academic affairs and provost at UH.

The University of Hyderabad, located in Andhra Pradesh, India, was founded in 1974 and is funded by the federal government of the Republic of India. India is home to nearly one-fifth of the world’s population and has become an increasingly important player in today’s global economy, Fernandes pointed out. It has liberalized its economy and propelled itself into one of the top four economies in the world. Not coincidentally, the Southeast Asian nation is the featured country at this year’s Houston’s International Festival, which begins April 23.

“Given India’s growing power, UH recognized the need to create a mechanism for its undergraduate students to learn about the country’s history, culture, religious studies and economics,” Fernandes said.

UH also has affiliations with University of Mumbai (2003) and the NIILM University and the Center for Management Studies in New Delhi. Additionally, in the summer of 2004, Saleha Khumawala, associate professor of accounting and taxation, and more than 20 Bauer College of Business students met with India’s President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during a faculty-led program.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

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