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President Susan Hockfield led an MIT delegation on a historic trip to India Nov. 16-24, 2007, meeting with key government and business leaders and strengthening ties between the Institute and the world’s largest democracy.

This trip was one of the latest activities tied to the MIT-India Initiative, which reflects the culmination of a series of concepts and collaborations, some in existence for decades, along with a vision for a new type of cooperative international enterprise. It represents the coming together of what are perhaps the most distinctive features of MIT as research university — the willingness to transcend disciplinary and national boundaries, an intense commitment to innovation — and India’s determination to do well by its citizens and earn its rightful place as a leading participant in the community of nations.

The primary mission of the MIT-India Initiative is to foster collaboration between the faculty and students at MIT, and faculty and students at academic and research institutions in India. Among its specific goals are enabling the creation of long-term projects involving groups from both MIT and Indian institutions; and promoting inclusive growth, sustainable development, educational leadership, entrepreneurship, new models of governance, and advanced, results-focused research in India.

More information about MIT and India

MIT Professional Education delivers its first course in India

In January 2010 the MIT Professional Education Program conducted its first-ever three-day course in India, Airport and Airline Systems: Planning, Design and Management, as part of the program's new international outreach initiative.  The course, Airport and Airline Systems: Planning, Design and Management, enrolled more than 25 senior executives and government officials from the Indian aviation sector in Lavasa, a new hill city being developed near Pune, in western India.

According to Praful Patel, India's Honorable Union Minister for Civil Aviation, more than 40 new airports are slated for construction in India over the next decade. Air-passenger volume is projected to increase three-fold, to 300 million, during the same period. This collaboration with MIT comes at an opportune moment as giant strides in areas of science and technology are being made by India, says Patel, who met with the course's participants during the course's first day. Such specialized initiatives are critical in providing a positive direction to the human resource capital of India.

The course is led by Richard de Neufville, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems, and Peter Belobaba, principal research scientist at the International Center for Air Transportation at MIT; both are global authorities in the air transportation infrastructure arena. India is keen to apply global best practices in its aviation industry boom, so we are happy to facilitate MIT's contribution by offering a course for industry professionals in India, says Bhaskar Pant, Executive Director of MIT Professional Education. With this significant beginning, we hope to bring more MIT professional courses in transportation to India, as well as in other national priority areas such as energy and the environment.

MIT Professional Education launched its international outreach initiative last year by delivering courses in Tokyo and Singapore in the areas of solar energy and technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. More information is available at

Exporting MIT: Science, Technology and Nation-Building in India and Iran

By Stuart W. Leslie and Robert Kargon


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) emerged from World War II with an impressive, worldwide reputation in basic and applied science and engineering. After redesigning its own engineering education in the 1950s, MIT responded to the challenge of U.S. policy makers and foundation offcials and its own sense of mission in engineering research,teaching,and practice by assisting in establishing new technical institutions of higher education around the world. This paper focuses on MIT's participation in the creation of such institutions in India and in Iran. Three case studies explore the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur,the Birla Institute of Technology and Science,and the Aryamehr University of Technology. The aim of establishing an international system of expertise with MIT at its apex reveals both the strengths and the limitations of the export effort.

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MIT-Trained Swadeshis: MIT and Indian Nationalism, 1880-1947

By Ross Bassett


During the colonial period, roughly one hundred degrees were awarded by MIT to Indians. However their importance to India and to the historical understanding of India is disproportionate to their numbers. These men — and they were all men — often from elite families, formed a technological elite in the last days of colonial India. Their careers show a technological nationalism in India — several men came from families associated with Gandhi — and represent an important foreshadowing of the period after independence.

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Remember the time: MIT’s link with India

An article in The Economic Times

Timelines can be surprising. When you hear Mozart's operas Don Giovanni or The Marriage of Figaro they seem to come untouched from the old world Devchand Parekh and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Circled from left: Devchand Parekh and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi of Europe. Yet the man who wrote the lyrics you hear, Mozart's collaborator Lorenzo da Ponte, died in New York, as the first professor of Italian at Columbia University.

Ross Bassett, a professor of history from North Carolina State University, who specialises in the history of technology , presented another such timeline surprise at the fourth Godrej-Tata lecture on Business History. He showed a picture of a determined looking young satyagrahi — Bal Kalelkar, one of Gandhi's youngest disciples at the Sabarmati Ashram, who was chosen to be one of the 78 satyagrahis who accompanied the Mahatma on the Dandi March.

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