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Viterbi School Deepens Ties with India in 4-City Tour

Dean Yortsos and USC Delegation visit Delhi, Agra, Mumbai and Bangalore for variety of events and the creation of new collaborations
Lisa Heckaman
February 25, 2011 —

Dean Yortsos with guards in Bangalore, India
Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, part of the USC delegation led by President C. L. Max Nikias, made a historic visit to India to strengthen ties with civic, academic and corporate leaders. Yortsos will lead an in-depth discussion of globalization and innovation from the Indian perspective. 

The panel discussion included several Viterbi faculty and USC senior administrators.  In addition to the panel, similar in scope to the 2010 NAE Grand Challenges Summit that the Viterbi School hosted this past October, the school held alumni and parent events culminating in the panel discussion in Bangalore, India on February 26, at the Taj West End.

"Within the six short years following Thomas Friedman's publication of The World Is Flat, the exponential technologies fueling globalization and innovation have transformed the world in unimaginable ways,” said Yortsos. “The resulting empowerment of people across the world to create and innovate has revolutionized communication, commerce, research and education, and spawned new industries. India has been a crucial center in this transformation."

The USC Forum on Globalization and Innovation gathered global leaders for a discussion on the state of globalization, innovation, and their impact on India’s future. Presenters included a wide swath of leaders - engineers, entrepreneurs, educators and policy makers. The two panels, one on globalization and another dedicated to innovation opened with remarks from the USC president.

Nikias and his delegation have been posting a daily blog with updates as to the intiatives and progress of the India trip.

Surendra Prasad, director IIT- Delhi, with Dean Yortsos. The two signed a memorandum of understanding

At the alumni and parent events, Yortsos gave updates on the state of the school and on new developments and directions. “I find these events are very useful for them,” he said. “They’re a good way to connect.”

He said that the India trip has helped him connect far more closely with Viterbi alumni and parents. The school hosted well-attended events in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. USC Viterbi will manage the new USC office in Bangalore, which was formally dedicated on the final leg of the delegation's trip.

Yortsos described the Bangalore office as functioning “like an embassy,” enabling USC to bridge Los Angeles and India, and assisting USC’s efforts in student recruitment, fundraising and building partnerships.

The trip yielded two new partnerships for USC Viterbi: Yortsos signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IIT - Hyderabad on Saturday, following the forum. This collaboration builds on past global collaborations USC Viterbi has had with institutions such as IIT - Kharagpur and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Earlier, Yortsos and Surendra Prasad, director of IIT-Delhi, signed a similar agreement, while Nikias and IIT- Bombay Dean for International Relations Suhasis Chauduri signed a university-level agreement.

Ultimately, Yortsos says these efforts will be a win-win for Indian students, international students and American students alike. Adds Yortsos, “It provides a global educational experience for our students” within an era of globalization.