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India Initiative

Indian Institute of Technology , Kharagpur and USC Viterbi School of Engineering To Partner in Research and Teaching

April 01, 2004 —

Dean C.L. Max Nikias and USC Senior Vice President Alan Kreditor, model USC Viterbi T-shirts in front of the Taj Mahal, Agra
Los Angeles, CA (March 29, 2004) -- Officials from two top ranked engineering schools, one in India, one in the United States, announced the creation of a sister school alliance.

University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering and the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) have outlined four key areas of collaboration: joint research, distance learning programs, and student and faculty exchange.

Vinod Gupta, CEO and founder of InfoUSA [NASDAQ IUSA] and an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, was the catalyst of this partnership.

"It has always been my dream for IIT, Kharagpur to have a presence and collaboration with a great American university," said Gupta, who previously gave his name to his alma mater by establishing the Vinod Gupta School of Management. "Given the excellence of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, I believe that when we bring its strength together with the strength of IIT Kharagpur, great things will happen for both schools."

Dean C. L. Max Nikias signing of the letter of intent. A formal signing of the agreement will take place on the USC campus on June 2. With Nikias is Professor Kalyan Chakravarti, dean of the Gupta School of Management at IIT Kharagpur. In the background are USC Senior Vice President Alan Kreditor and Director of IIT-Kharagpur S. K. Dube.
"The USC Viterbi School already has extremely strong ties to India and its vastly creative engineering community through our alumni, faculty, and student body," said Dean C.L. Max Nikias, "An alliance with IIT, Kharagpur -- one of the most prestigious schools on the subcontinent -- will strengthen and cement these ties."

A letter of intent was signed on March 23, 2004 after Nikias and USC Senior Vice President of Advancement Alan Kreditor, visited IIT, Kharagpur and spent the day touring the campus and meeting with academic department chairs and faculty, as well as with IIT, Kharagpur senior administration.

As presented by the educators, the collaboration will initially center on IIT Kharagpur's Gupta School of Management, and involve programs in information technology/communication, biomedical technology and, especially, engineering management. The USC Viterbi School’s Distance Education Network, one of the foremost distance education facilities in engineering education, will play a key role.

Professor R. S. Sirohi, left, Director of IIT Delhi; Dean C.L. Max Nikias and and Professor S. K. Dube, Director of IIT Kharagpur
A formal signing of the memorandum of understanding is expected to take place in early June on the USC campus in Los Angeles. The 2500 known IIT, Kharagpur alumni living in the western states of the US will be invited to take part in this important occasion, said Gupta.

"Vinod Gupta’s vision has brought together these two prestigious institutions,” said Nikias. “ I think engineers on two continents owe Vinod a debt of gratitude for this great initiative," said Nikias. "We have the highest hopes for a fruitful and long-lasting partnership."

"Eventually, I would like to see USC's Viterbi School of Engineering opening an India campus at IIT campus and the IIT Kharagpur opening a USA campus at USC in California," said IIT, K Director Shishir K. Dube.


Related Links:

IIT ties up with US university - 3/24/04 (PDF)
The American Way - HT Horizons - 3/17/04 (PDF)
Vinod Gupta School of Management - New Indian Express - 2/16/04 (PDF)
What IIT Kharagapur Means to Me - New Indian Express - 2/16/04 (PDF) 

 Eric Mankin
USC Viterbi School of Engineering
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Rakesh Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer