In an unprecedented act of philanthropy to an American academic institution, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has given a $2 million grant to the University of Pennsylvania's Centre for the Advanced Study of India, headed by Devesh Kapur to support its research on international migration from India.
This was the first time that MOIA has ever awarded an empirical research grant of this magnitude to an academic institution outside India.
'Penn (University of Pennsylvania) was chosen because it is home to the CASI, which has become known around the world as the first and only academic research unit in a US university focused on contemporary India,' G Gurucharan, joint secretary, MOIA said, adding, 'We see this as a small beginning.'
Gurucharan signed the agreement on behalf of the MOIA at a ceremony at University of Pennsylvania's College Hall on February 16.
As principal investigator of the research project, Kapur will be supported by a group of scholars recruited specifically for the purpose of conducting the research, as needed during the next four years.
Kapur's forthcoming book, Diaspora, Democracy and Development: The Impact of International Migration from India on India will be published this summer.