Thank you Ian.
As many of you know, the University of Chicago is one of the world’s outstanding academic and research institutions. UChicago is widely recognized for its devotion to open and rigorous inquiry. The strength of our intellectual traditions—intense critical analysis, free and lively debate, creative solutions to complex problems—rests on the scholars who continue to engage them.
In 2010, a committee of faculty from across the University submitted a report to the President and Provost recommending the creation of a Center in Delhi to promote and advance a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects through academic and public programs, outreach, and development. As a member of that faculty committee and the newly named faculty director for the Center, I am so pleased to be with you today.
Since that time, the University has secured space for the Center in Connaught Place and has begun construction. A faculty steering committee is planning the intellectual content and programming for the Center.
The Center will support and promote intellectual activities and scholarly collaborations already in progress in the University and deepen the University’s capacity for scholarship and teaching in connection with India. We hope that the University of Chicago Center in Delhi will contribute to the intellectual, political, and cultural life of India and open our campus in Chicago and our faculty to new voices and insights from India. Finally, as President Zimmer mentioned, the Center will represent all of the University’s graduate divisions, the six professional schools, and the undergraduate College.
The Center will promote scholarship through three broad programs: business, economics, law, and policy; science, energy, medicine, and public health; and culture, society, religion, and the arts.
The new Center will capitalize on a strong body of work already underway. The committee has catalogued dozens of ongoing research partnerships between Chicago scholars and their Indian counterparts. Examples range from collaborations between the Tata Institute of Social Science and the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, to the work Fermilab is doing with several Indian institutions to advance technologies for next-generation particle accelerators. UChicago’s Biological Sciences Division and the Computation Institute work with Amrita University to develop a systems-biology platform to help researchers gain new insights into the genetic basis of diseases. And one of the largest conferences hosted at Chicago Booth is the Tata India Leadership Summit, bringing together leaders from across government, business, and academia. After a century of significant research collaborations between India and Chicago, the Center will provide a focus for building on that legacy in Delhi and throughout the region.
The Center will be inaugurated on March 28 and 29, 2014, with Nobel laureates and other leading scholars from the University of Chicago and from Indian institutions discussing their collaborations and their latest work in economics, early childhood education, international art history, public health, and molecular engineering.
Located in the vibrant cultural and commercial district of Connaught Place, the 17,000–square–foot Center will provide space for seminars and conferences, as well as faculty offices and study areas. We have a brief video to share with you about what the Center will look like when it is completed, complementing the renderings in your packets.
Thank you all very much.