Monday, January 4, 2010

From Mumbai: Outward and Onward

In March of 2010, Columbia will open the newest Global Centers in Paris, France and Mumbai, India, the latest in an expanding international web of research centers. The Center in Mumbai will be an important outpost for scholarly collaboration in India and worldwide.
The new research center is a huge project both physically, in its building, and in its programming. Nirupam Bajpai, economist and Director of South Asian Programs for Columbia’s Earth Institute, will be leading efforts to open the Center. As a renowned researcher in India, he will no doubt be up to the challenge. The Mumbai Center will be Columbia’s fourth hub for global scholarship with three already operating in Beijing, China, Paris, France, and Amman, Jordan. A new center in one of Southern Asia’s leading cities will strengthens Columbia’s research efforts in India.
“Being physically present makes outreach and involvement with local institutions easier while still maintaining a close relationship with Columbia,” explained Bajpai.
But it is the opportunity for individuals to collaborate transnationally in Beijing, Paris and Amman that makes this Center exceptional. The arrangements and connections between the four centers will make Columbia’s Global Centers a unique model in comparison to other universities.
As researchers look outward from Mumbai to a web of international research centers they will also look onward to the future. The location in Mumbai will allow Columbia’s Earth Institute to work alongside Indian leaders in sustainability research and policymaking. Researchers may continue working on future-oriented projects such as “India 2047,” a sustainable development initiative recognizing the centennial of India’s 1947 independence. Bajpai explained that having a physical presence in Mumbai is helpful, “not just to impact India but South Asia in general; Nepal, Sri Lanka, and surrounding countries.”
Check back on our blog for more news as the Center’s opening approaches.

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