Saxena Middle set to broaden its footprint in analysis, instructing, public coverage and programming
With a $10 million reward from Parag and Usha Saxena, dad and mom of three of its graduates, Brown College will elevate and lengthen the worldwide attain of its groundbreaking instructing and analysis on points of contemporary South Asia.
In recognition of the beneficiant help, the Company of Brown College has permitted the naming of the Middle for Up to date South Asia as Saxena Middle.
Housed at Windfall, Rhode Island based mostly Brown’s Watson Institute for Worldwide and Public Affairs, the Middle promotes interdisciplinary analysis, instructing and public engagement on key problems with India and the encircling area.
Learn: Ashish Jha is new dean of Brown Faculty of Public Well being (September 15, 2020)
The reward will allow the middle to broaden its footprint in analysis, instructing, public coverage and programming, in accordance with college press launch.
Ashutosh Varshney, a professor of worldwide research and political science who directs the middle, notes that it presently has 4 areas of programmatic and analysis focus: democracy, city improvement, pluralism and inequalities.
The reward will make it potential to broaden the middle’s choices, have extra formidable analysis plans, and ship extra college students for analysis, language coaching and internships in South Asia, Varshney mentioned.
As well as, the Saxena Middle will deepen its relationship with Brown’s Faculty of Public Well being. SPH Dean Dr. Ashish Jha’s conviction that the issues of public well being will not be completely the area of medication, mentioned Varshney, “made it straightforward to increase an mental arm for collaboration.”
The Saxena Middle and the varsity will work collectively to create educational packages at Brown and forge partnerships with Indian establishments.
The Saxenas mentioned they’re excited in regards to the prospect of furthering the work of Varshney and Jha in South Asia, and hope that their reward will foster dialogue and analysis amongst policymakers and students within the social sciences.
However in addition they hope it’s going to promote scholarship on and appreciation of South Asian literature, tradition and artwork, about which they’re passionate.
Final November, the Saxenas traveled to Brown, the place they attended an occasion organized by Varshney that includes the author Salman Rushdie.
The Saxenas mentioned their help for the middle is predicated in their very own Indian heritage and continued curiosity in India and South Asia, in addition to the middle’s potential to affect debate and speed up the momentum for optimistic change within the area.
Saxenas’ reward may also open extra residency alternatives for visiting students, coverage makers, public figures and artists, the discharge mentioned.
Particularly, it’s going to enhance the variety of undergraduate and graduate college students the middle sends to India and different components of South Asia for analysis and internships.
Varshney mentioned that one of many best advantages of the Saxenas’ beneficiant reward is the flexibility to pivot as world occasions shift or dialogue and analysis on South Asia points deepens. “A present that offers you that freedom is in precept transformational,” he mentioned.
Varshney hopes so as to add new institutional linkages to its present partnerships — with the Centre for Coverage Analysis and the Nationwide Council of Utilized Economics Analysis, each in Delhi, and with the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, in Bangalore.
The middle’s origins date to 2011 and then-Brown President Ruth Simmons’ conviction that the worldwide scope of a college like Brown ought to lengthen effectively past Europe to the International South — together with India and the remainder of South Asia.
At her invitation, Varshney created the India Initiative in 2012; with ongoing help because the arrival of President Christina H. Paxson in 2012, the initiative finally turned the Middle for Up to date South Asia.
Whereas anchored within the social sciences, the initiative-turned-center has embraced the humanities and humanities from the beginning: “The humanities have a lot to contribute to our social, cultural and even political understanding that to not embrace them would make us intellectually poorer,” Varshney mentioned.
He famous that till not too long ago, South Asia was the second-largest area on this planet after East Asia. Because the early Nineties, India has been the second-fastest rising economic system within the creating world after China and has by now change into the fifth-largest economic system on this planet.
In recent times, Bangladesh has made nice strides in public well being and training, and Pakistan is vital geopolitically. He factors to the formation of the Quad (the Quadrilateral Safety Dialogue — an rising partnership amongst Japan, Australia, India and the USA for the Indo-Pacific area) as an indication of the area’s significance to the present US administration’s international coverage.
“Merely put,” he mentioned, “political, financial and cultural developments in India will have an effect that isn’t confined to India. South Asia is strategically and economically vital, and is prone to proceed to rise.”
Edward Steinfeld, director of the Watson Institute, mentioned the middle has and can proceed to be terribly profitable in delivering path-breaking analysis and instructing on South Asia.
“To me, although, the middle has been doing one thing nonetheless extra profound: utilizing its work on South Asia to light up the elemental human expertise,” Steinfeld mentioned.
As three-time Brown dad and mom, Parag and Usha Saxena fashioned an preliminary affiliation with the College via their youngsters, however the couple over time developed a private relationship with Simmons.
In 2010, Parag Saxena traveled to India with Simmons to introduce her to his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Expertise, Bombay, the place he earned his diploma in chemical engineering.
Learn: $10 million reward to broaden Brown scholarship on South Asia (February 23, 2022)
The Saxenas have been early supporters of the India Initiative, and their sustained philanthropy has contributed meaningfully to Brown’s India and South Asia packages.
Parag Saxena got here to the USA to pursue a grasp’s diploma in chemical engineering and subsequently accomplished an MBA on the Wharton Faculty on the College of Pennsylvania.
His enterprise expertise spans 4 a long time, with appreciable actions and pursuits in South Asia in addition to enterprise capital within the US.