While the COVID-19 pandemic created numerous uncertainties, we at The Ohio State University’s Mumbai-based India Gateway prioritized and productively engaged with our faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners through virtual platforms, ensuring meaningful engagements that foster interactive discourse and professional networking.
Experiential learning programs have persevered during this pandemic. The India Gateway office has supported the Research Internship for Young Academics (RIYA), a 10-week long virtual project with Ohio State faculty mentors, as well as two Global Applied Projects (GAP) with corporate partners in India. The IIT Bombay – Ohio State jointly established Frontier Center for Science & Engineering announced eight seed grants for PhD scholars. While Education Abroad partnered with the Global Gateway offices in India and Brazil to host Buckeye Bridge Lecture Series events on artificial intelligence, sustainability and climate change.
International partnerships have blossomed, including three new MOUs signed and three more agreements in the pipeline. A strong partnership between the Fisher College of Business and the Tata Management Training Center has resulted in nine faculty members training more than 500 Tata leaders during fall and spring semesters. Bhavik Bakshi, a faculty advisory board member with Ohio State’s Sustainability Institute, is developing projects funded by his SPARC and VAJRA fellowships from the Ministry of Education. The Ohio State Innovation Foundation exclusively licensed COVID19 vaccine technology to Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad, India-based vaccine and pharmaceutical company. Planning is underway for the third edition of the Infectious Diseases conference, co-hosted by the India Gateway, and will be held in Sri Lanka in August. On May 11, the consul general of India to the United States (New York), Randhir Jaiswal, met with Ohio State leadership and faculty to discuss current collaborations and future opportunities for partnerships with institutions and businesses in India.
During the past quarter, even as COVID-19 cases spiked in India, our alumni community became a hub of activity, demonstrating exemplary resilience. Alumni pooled information, on hospitals and medication that had become particularly scarce during late April and early May, and shared via our WhatsApp group. The loss of one of our alumni shook the community, but solace and comfort was offered as many saw loved ones being helped, including our U.S.-based alumni, who joined in the WhatsApp group, and were able to seek help for their families back in India. It has been humbling and gratifying to see our alumni community rise up.
In our 10th year in India, we are honored to be a bridge for the university to connect with partners and alumni from India and collaborate on solving some of the complex global problems including food and water security, healthcare and climate change.