About the Author: Ryan M. Miller serves as an India Desk Officer in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
On June 9, an enthusiastic crowd of over 225 scholars, business leaders, and innovators descended upon the Hyatt Capitol Hill Hotel to attend the first day of the IIT-Kanpur Golden Jubilee Alumni Convention. The theme of the convention, "U.S.-India Collaboration: KIAP and Beyond," was an homage to the legendary USAID-sponsored educational exchange program -- the Kanpur Indo-American Program -- that from 1962-1972 sent heralded scholars from the United States to serve as visiting professors and mentors in India.
The opening night featured a series of speeches and discussions. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provided recorded video remarks and Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake delivered a well-received motivational speech about U.S.-India Strategic Cooperation. On education cooperation, Assistant Secretary Blake noted not only the importance of honoring the KIAP program, which he called, "one of the most significant success stories in the rich history of bilateral higher education exchange programs between the United States and India," but also the need for the State Department to solicit and seek new ideas for bilateral higher education cooperation from the IIT-Kanpur alumni leaders that were in attendance.
By the end of the Assistant Secretary's remarks, the crowd was enthused. One of the IIT-Kanpur alumnus, who is a private sector CEO for a U.S. company, noted after the speech, "We must build stronger, better U.S.-India education partnerships in the 21st century -- and I know now it completely possible."Related Content: Celebrating the Legacy of U.S.-India Education Cooperation