Attendees of the Penn India Engagement Forum pledged to strengthen Penn and India’s collaborations in health care, education, and technology.
The forum, held on Jan. 5 at the Taj Palace in New Delhi, was organized by the Penn Institute for the Advanced Study of India, the Center for the Advanced Study of India, and Penn Global. Penn faculty, alumni, and business leaders discussed initiatives to support India’s growth after COVID-19.
The event featured three panels that focused on healthcare reforms, education, and economic recovery.
Penn Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel discussed Penn's deep commitment to sustaining a relationship with India.
"India is special to us," he said. "Penn was one of the first universities in the U.S. to teach Sanskrit and 25 years ago we launched the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India. One in eight of our foreign students come from India and we have a deep commitment to hosting students from the country."
He also described the potential for businesses to expand in India as they look to diversify operations.
“This [advantage], combined with an indigenous community of innovators and entrepreneurs, suggests that the future of India is bright,” Emanuel said.
Likewise, Wharton Dean Erika James reaffirmed the school's commitment to engaging with India. Wharton has almost 1,000 Indian alumni and offers Global Executive MBA programming for global students to take advantage of their curriculum.
“Recognizing the opportunities to engage with India remains our top priority,” James said. “The Penn India Engagement Forum serves as a strategic platform to nurture our collaboration with India for a win-win proposition.”
Penn has direct connections with influential figures in India. In 2021, Wharton MBA graduate Ashwini Vaishnaw was appointed India's Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology.
CASI and UPIASI are research centers on contemporary India celebrating their 30 and 25-year anniversaries this year, respectively.