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Ohio State and IndoGenius develop MOOC to educate students about India

Buckeyes Abroad in IndiaAn online course developed by The Ohio State University and Delhi-based IndoGenius that will help educate students about the importance of India was launched today by the U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, at the American Center in New Delhi. The course, which will be delivered via the world’s largest online course platform, Coursera, aims to garner a wider interest among U.S. students for study, startup businesses and internship opportunities in India.

The massive open online course (MOOC) is funded through the U.S. Department of State’s Passport to India initiative, which is jointly managed by Ohio State and IndoGenius. Passport to India seeks to increase the number and diversity of American college and university students studying abroad and interning in India by 2020. The program was launched by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011 to create a hub for U.S.-India higher education partnerships and to develop a stronger bond between the youth of both countries by increasing American student mobility.

“With India’s growing economy it is critical for our future leaders to understand India’s cultural, historic and economic importance in world affairs,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs at Ohio State. “Engaging young Americans to experience the depth and breadth of India firsthand will only produce stronger U.S.-India relations. For Ohio State to take a leadership role in this transformative process is an exciting and important opportunity.”

The curriculum for the course was developed by Ohio State's Brian Joseph, distinguished university professor of linguistics, and Ila Nagar, assistant professor of Hindi, and Nick Booker, co-founder of IndoGenius, and implemented through the Office of Distance Education and eLearning. The course titled, The Importance of India, covers a broad range of topics, from India’s ancient trade relations with the Roman Empire, South East Asia and China to India’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem and its role in creatively solving global problems through technology. The course’s final lecture is dedicated to presenting study, startup and internship opportunities in India along with references and advice for those wishing to travel to India. By educating students about India through the online course, Ohio State and IndoGenius are hoping it will make a significant contribution toward meeting Passport to India’s goal of increasing the number of students studying abroad in India annually from its current, 4,583 to at least 10,000 in the next four years.

“India is relevant to American students of all backgrounds and interests,” said Booker of IndoGenius. “The Passport to India MOOC will demonstrate how India’s economic and civilizational re-emergence has renewed the importance of India. Take any of the grand challenges faced by the world today and if you can innovate a solution that works in India it can work anywhere.”

The course is free for anyone in the world and currently open for enrollment on coursera.org. Indian students are actively encouraged to join and learn alongside their American peers. to view a synopsis of the course visit YouTube Those interested in learning more about Passport to India and its directory of 60+ study abroad and paid internship opportunities in India can do so at Passport to India.