The University of Missouri held its first India day celebrations on Jan. 30, 2016 that was organized by the Cultural Association of India and co-sponsored by ORG and the office of the Vice Provost for International Programs. The event was marked by the presence of Consul General of India-Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. In his remarks to the audience at the India Day, Dr. Sayeed emphasized on building a cultural and academic relationship with Mizzou through the faculty, staff and students of Indian origin as well as from India.
Chancellor Hank Foley who was also present at the function talked about his own experiences with the Indian American community and how much he had appreciated working with graduate students and faculty of Indian origin. Chancellor Foley also highlighted that the university had greatly benefitted from the intellectual contributions of the Indian origin faculty and scholars in reaching many academic landmarks.
Dr. James Scott, Vice Provost for International Programs stressed that the Indian community at Mizzou had played a vital role in many scholarly activities from pioneering education in physics, nano technology, nano medicine, computer and cyber technology in medicine, accountancy and marketing, agroforestry, sleep research among others. In his emphasis to MU-India connections, Dr. Scott highlighted some facts such as more than 100 faculty and staff of Indian origin were currently employed at the university also there were approximately 245 Indian International students enrolled at Mizzou.
The keynote speaker for the program was Dr. Surendra Gupta, President and CEO, American Radiolabeled Chemicals. In his presentation Dr. Gupta shared his inspirational and humble beginning in America as a graduate student and eventually transitioning into entrepreneur overtime.
The India Day Program was divided into a two part series. The first part of the program highlighted the academic and research work done by the faculty of Indian origin at Mizzou. Several distinguished faculty such as Dr. Meera Chandrasekhar from the department physics to Dr. Ramesh Khanna from the department of medicine shared their research from the field.
The second part of the India Day celebrations followed the more traditional Republic day cultural traditions. Several Classical Indian dance performances of Bharatanatayam were presented alongside the more contemporary dance numbers of Bollywood. At the closing ceremony of the India day program, Dr. Shivendra Shukla, the faculty advisor for the Cultural Association of India introduced the 2016 Cultural Association of India board members.