Consulate General of India in New York and Rutgers University—New Brunswick today announced the induction of the University’s inaugural Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Chair of Indian Studies, a partnership that will bring esteemed Indian professors to Rutgers to conduct research, teach courses, and strengthen ties with the local Indian community. Currently the only ICCR Chair in the United States, this academic post is a first for both the Consulate and the University.
“This is truly an important milestone, which I have no doubt will strengthen the academic partnership between India and the United States and further the academic cooperation with Indian institutions of higher education,” said Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, Consul General of India in New York. “The State of New Jersey being home to a large Indian population further strengthens the positive impact of establishing the Chair at Rutgers University, with its significant number of Indian students and student organizations working towards the spread of India’s cultural heritage and enriching the cultural diversity of the U.S.”
“This partnership firmly establishes Rutgers as a global hub for Indian studies,” said Richard L. Edwards, Chancellor of Rutgers University—New Brunswick. “It is another important step in our efforts to promote international scholarship and mutual understanding between countries and to prepare our students for leadership roles in an increasingly interconnected world.”
The inaugural Chair, Professor Binod Khadria of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, will serve a one-year appointment in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR). Khadria is studying the international migration of workers and students to and from the Global South, including those leaving India to work in STEM fields in the United States. He is currently teaching Economics for the Global Citizen at SMLR and he is scheduled to teach International Migration, Immigration and Labor in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy this Fall.
“It is indeed an honor to be the first ICCR Chair at Rutgers,” said Binod Khadria, Indian Council for Cultural Relations Chair, Rutgers University. “While I am excited, I am also conscious of the big challenges ahead. One is that of initiating relationships between countries, institutions, and faculty – and above all between teachers and students across borders and cultures. I believe the importance of my work at Rutgers – teaching and researching topical subjects like global citizenship, international migration, immigration, labor, and skills – will help to address and strengthen these relationships between India and the U.S.”
“It is an honor for our school to host the first ICCR Chair at Rutgers,” said James C. Hayton, Dean, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. “Professor Khadria’s research speaks clearly to the kinds of difficult global socio-economic challenges on which the school focuses in the fields of human resource management and labor relations. We are already benefiting from his presence among our faculty and students, and we look forward to further strengthening our ties with Indian institutions in the future.”
Founded in 1950 by independent India’s first Education Minister, the ICCR plays a strategic role in promoting cultural exchanges and mutual understanding with other countries. The ICCR, in consultation with Indian Consulates abroad, oversees a vast portfolio of Chairs at leading universities worldwide.
Bloustein Professor Hal Salzman and SMLR’s Heather McKay worked closely with the ICCR and the Consulate General of India in New York to bring the ICCR Chair to Rutgers. The Consulate (ICCR) and the University will jointly fund the Chair through a five-year Memorandum of Understanding. Other Rutgers schools will house the Chair following the completion of Dr. Khadria’s term at SMLR in 2018.