The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Penn is continuing to make strides in its global initiatives as a prominent cultural center on campus celebrates a landmark anniversary.

The Center for the Advanced Study of India is celebrating its 20th anniversary throughout 2012. This yearlong celebration is an exploration of “two decades of transformations” in India and the center, according to CASI Director Devesh Kapur.

Specifically, CASI will hold an event in September that will host four high-profile speakers from India.

“It will be the most high-profile gathering at an academic institution of four cabinet-level appointees all at once for one purpose,” CASI Deputy Director Juliana Di Giustini said.

Both the center and India have experienced transformations on a variety of fronts in the last 20 years to reflect broad social and economic changes from within the country, Kapur explained. “The way we’ve structured the program for the anniversary celebration has been around these transformations,” he said.

Since its founding, CASI has expanded its offerings of student and faculty research opportunities. In order to commemorate its 20th anniversary, it plans to launch a new research initiative to give more Penn community members an opportunity to study India.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dennis DeTurck agreed that CASI has “really come into its own in the last few years.”

“It’s very exciting to see its development,” DeTurck said. “The center plays an important role in India’s presence in Penn and Penn’s presence in India.”

Currently, according to its website, CASI is the only research institution in the country focused on the study of contemporary India. The center’s focus has evolved to include an emphasis on contemporary topics in public policy and “to bring a range of intellectual resources to work on these issues,” Kapur said.

The center is striving toward an overall goal of being as interdisciplinary as possible.

“We hope for the center to catalyze a broader interest of India across schools in the University,” Kapur said. “The range of challenges India faces makes it a great lab for studies in all disciplines.”

The center has also developed a strong undergraduate presence and provides many opportunities for students in India, DeTurck explained.

College and Wharton sophomore Aditi Gupta, a research associate at CASI, believes that more undergraduate students should become aware and involved with the center’s variety of offerings.

“Many aren’t aware that CASI exists or of all the opportunities, including scholarships in all subjects, that is has,” Gupta said. “The Penn community should know that India still has the ideals, morals and progress relevant to lives in the U.S. in general, and that students at Penn should take advantage of CASI opportunities to learn about how India is relevant to the present day.”

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.