U.S.-India Summit on Education, Research & Technology Set for May 31
San Diego, CA, May 30, 2006 -- The Honorable Kapil Sibal, India's Minister of Science & Technology and Ocean Development, arrived in San Diego, Calif., yesterday to promote collaboration in science and technology among American and Indian universities, corporations, government and private funding agencies. Sibal's visit will be hosted by the University of California, San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), and will include visits to world-class San Diego organizations including QUALCOMM Inc., General Atomics and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The main focus of the Indian cabinet minister's visit is the U.S.-India Summit on Education, Research & Technology, scheduled for May 31 and organized by Calit2 at UCSD. To open the summit, His Excellency APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India, will deliver a keynote speech from New Delhi. President Kalam's remarks will be transmitted in high-definition video over an ad hoc optical-fiber network linking the UCSD campus to the presidential palace in the Indian capital.
"We have had the great honor to meet with President Kalam on several occasions over the past six months while preparing for the summit," said Jacobs School electrical and computer engineering professor Ramesh Rao, the event's organizer and director of the UCSD Division of Calit2. "As an aerospace engineer by training and a founder of India's space program, President Kalam has a rare grasp of the important issues in science and technology, and he can speak eloquently about how to harness technology for the benefit of society, not just in India and the U.S., but throughout the world."
"It is our great pleasure to welcome Minister Sibal and many other Indian dignitaries who have underscored the importance of this meeting by traveling a long distance to get here," said UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, who is co-hosting the summit. "As a world-class university, UCSD is committed to international education and research collaborations that will help San Diego and California remain at the forefront of technological innovation, and the phenomenal success of India in high-tech markets makes it critical that we make India a primary area of engagement."
The roster of Indian speakers arriving in San Diego for the meetings includes outgoing Secretary of Science and Technology V.S. Ramamurthy; Sam Pitroda, Chairman of India's National Knowledge Commission; Indian Institute of Technology-Madras Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala; Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research; Technology Information Forecasting & Assessment Council Executive Director Anand Patwardhan; and Arabinda Mitra, Executive Director of the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, among others.
"We hope that the summit will provide an impetus for new research and educational ventures that engage Indian institutions and their counterparts in the United States," said Mitra, whose organization is co-convening the summit. "The Forum was established by the two countries in 2000 to facilitate and promote interaction in science, technology and other areas, so this summit represents another major step in a long-term engagement that is in the mutual interest of our two countries."
The summit will be co-chaired by QUALCOMM Chief Executive Officer Paul E. Jacobs, and UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering Dean Frieder Seible. Other speakers on the agenda include University of California President Robert C. Dynes; former Nortel Chairman of the Board William Owens; CONNECT President Duane Roth; Kathryn Sullivan, Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation's Office of International Science and Technology; Gretchen Kalonji, UC's Director of International Strategy Development; among others.
Continued dialogue resulted in an expansion of the universities involved on both the Indian and American sides, and an increase in the scope of the program to include research. In December 2005, a formal signing ceremony took place in New Delhi to welcome 15 new U.S. members to the Indo-U.S. Inter-University Collaborative Network in Higher Education and Research.
In March 2006, UC signed its own memorandum of understanding with the Government of India to promote joint research projects that leverage synergies between UC researchers, California technology firms and counterparts in India.
"The U.S.-India Summit on Education, Research & Technology is the next step in a process of broadening areas of engagement among science and technology institutions in the world's two most populous democracies," said summit co-chair Seible. "We want to enable joint education and research programs that will groom the next generation of researchers for corporations, government labs and universities in both countries."