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Friday, May 20, 2022

Campus

UH India Studies program receives generous support


The India Studies program has received generous alumni support and donations since its inception two years ago. | Courtesy of Karun Magon

The India Studies Program teaches the impact of India on a global scale and has received generous donations from Houstonians to ensure its success.

The program focuses on the cultural, political and financial impacts India has made on the world through classes such as anthropology, Hindi language, religion, literature, political science and sociology.

India Studies Program assistant director Anjali Kanojia said she is thrilled to have this program under the umbrella of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

“Our University is situated in one of the most diverse cities in the country, and Houston is home to a large South Asian population while being a hub for international businesses that have an important presence in India. Knowledge of Indian cultures and traditions is essential to our current and ongoing relations with this global giant,” Kanojia said.

Launched in 2011 and approved as a minor in 2012, the program has recently received generous donations to help advance its success. Alumnus Durga Agrawal and his wife donated $100,000 that was used to fund the program’s first postdoctoral fellowship.

Other donors include Rahul Nath, Bal Sareen and Arun Verma, who have gifted thousands of dollars that will go to undergraduate student scholarships, curriculum support and overall program support.

The donations will also help support a new study abroad program that is being planned for Winter 2014.

“The goal of the study abroad is to provide a comprehensive cultural immersion to what India is — a land rich in tradition, the world’s greatest democracy and the birthplace of four religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism,” Kanojia said. “Also, 18 percent of the world’s population lives in India. One in every six people on the planet is Indian.”

Kanojia believes the new study abroad program will benefit students immediately by giving them knowledge of India and Indian culture and will benefit students in the long term by helping them feel comfortable as citizens of the world.

President Renu Khator said she believes the program is yet another admirable example of our school’s commitment to supporting the diverse and international character of our city.

“As this ambitious program continues to develop,” she said, “it will foster important scholarship about one of the world’s most significant countries and offer the opportunity for current and future generations of our Indo-American students to connect with their cultural heritage.”

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