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Ford Foundation Awards Program $525,000 Grant

In Partnership with University of Calcutta and Yunnan University in Kuming

New York, September 11, 2008—The New School’s India China Institute (ICI) announced a new initiative to develop a unique trilateral curriculum with the University of Calcutta and Yunnan University in Kunming to redefine India-China interactions by creating a framework for collaborative study and research. The three-year initiative is generously supported by a $525,000 grant from the Ford Foundation.

“The India China Institute is dedicated to forging a new path of collaboration among the world’s three largest countries and economies,” said Bob Kerrey, president of The New School. “In keeping with The New School’s legacy, this initiative will create a foundation for generations of social actors to lead a democratic discussion of our shared future. We are honored to have the support of the Ford Foundation in our efforts to ensure the accessibility of trilateral resources among the leaders of tomorrow.”

The India-China Knowledge and Capacity Building Initiative will be administered by the India China Institute at The New School, an international hub for trilateral research, teaching and emergent networks, under the leadership of the institute’s director Ashok Gurung. The project will work to rethink interactions between India and China by focusing on the historically marginalized regions of northeast India and southwest China. Going beyond merely security and area studies, the initiative will develop an interdisciplinary approach in which scholars and students will examine the unique social, cultural and environmental challenges these regions face.

“This initiative is designed to unlock the potential of collaboration amongst a growing field of scholars and their work,” said Ashok Gurung, who is also a faculty member of the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School. “By building platforms for dialogue between and among these three countries, we empower a new generation to tackle global issues. Through these interactions, participants will learn from each other how their respective countries can build unique and effective solutions for the people of Asia’s economic engine.”

The initiative will focus primarily on building a trilateral curriculum of in-class study and field-based programs. Specifically, the three partner universities will co-design and co-teach a graduate-level course on India-China interactions, to be held simultaneously at each institution from 2009–2011. Each year, the course will be followed by an eight-week, field-based study program in Kunming and Kolkata where eighteen students (six from each country) will work together on a broad range of issues including local governance and infrastructure, human rights, economic development, conflict resolution, environment, etc. The field-based experience will allow the students to deepen their understanding of key issues and build the foundation for long-lasting working relationships.

In addition to graduate teaching, the initiative will also focus on widening access to primary and secondary materials on India, China, and India-China interactions that were previously available only in Chinese or Indian languages. As the initiative grows, the partner universities will benefit from additional expertise from educational and research institutions from India, China, and the United States, such as Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, CUNY-Baruch College, Delhi University, Centre for Policy Research (Delhi), Maulana Azad Institute of Asian Studies (Kolkata), and Sikkim University (Gangtok).

Established in 2004, ICI is emerging as the hub of an international network of institutions and activities that nurture conversations about India, China, and the United States and deepen our understanding of global processes. Made possible in part by a generous $10 million grant from the Starr Foundation, ICI is committed to analyzing major issues and trends in India, China, and the United States and helping leaders, managers, public intellectuals, and opinion builders in all three countries address key challenges through collaborative solutions. At the heart of ICI is a competitive two-year fellowship program. Currently, ICI’s twenty distinguished fellows are collaborating on a broad range of projects to address the topic of “Prosperity and Inequality: Debates in India and China.” For more information, visit

Located in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, The New School is a center of academic excellence where intellectual and artistic freedoms thrive. The more than 9,600 matriculated students and approximately 5,300 continuing education students come from around the world to participate in a wide range of undergraduate to doctoral programs in art and design, the social sciences, management and urban policy, the humanities and the performing arts. When The New School was founded in 1919, its mission was to create a place where global peace and justice were more than theoretical ideals. Today, The New School continues that mission, with programs that strive to foster engaged world citizenship. The eight schools that make up The New School are: The New School for General Studies, The New School for Social Research, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, Parsons The New School for Design, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, Mannes College The New School for Music, The New School for Drama, and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. For more information, visit

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