India Initiative Annual Report 2019-2020
The India Initiative was begun in 2015 with the goal of making Georgetown University a premier hub for conversations about India and U.S.-India relations. While much remains to be done to fulfill the full scale of that ambition, we are humbled and encouraged by how far we have come in just a few years.
Over the past five years, the initiative brought over a hundred different events and speakers to campus, and the breadth of its programming widened. While political and policy discussions dominate, as befits our location in the capital of the United States, during the 2019-2020 academic year we also supported major cultural events featuring world-class musicians and dancers such as Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna, Sufi singer Zila Khan, and the ever-popular Georgetown tradition of Rangila. None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our donors or the logistical backing of our many partners on campus.
The most gratifying outcome of this collective effort on India is the engagement of our students. This year Georgetown had two Fulbright-Nehru fellows in India, and by year’s end another two students had won this prestigious post-graduate fellowship. Three recent graduates have taken full-time positions with IDInsight, a leading research organization in New Delhi, joining other young Hoyas who are hungry for the professional opportunities today’s India offers. This flow of people and ideas from the Hilltop to India is fueled by student trips organized by the Center for Social Justice, Research and Teaching’s MAGIS program; the McDonough School of Business’s Global Business Experience program; and the Walsh School of Foreign Service’s Centennial Lab initiative. In fall 2019, Sara Rotenberg (NHS’20) and Kyra Kocis (SFS’20), both of whom have spent considerable time in India over the past two years on university-sponsored global experiences, won Rhodes and Marshall scholarships respectively. Our students and graduates are the best advertisements for the value of a Georgetown education, and this sustained, multifaceted engagement with India is being reciprocated by rising enrollment of Indian students in Georgetown’s world-renowned undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.
We hope you share our pride and excitement as you read about our inspiring faculty, students, and guests in this annual report. The terrible COVID-19 pandemic requires that we pause our activities, but the foundation laid over these past five years will support renewed investment when the time is right in the hopefully near future. Until that happy time, we wish you and yours good health.
Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Indian Politics