February 2024 \ Business & Investment \ Business News
Jindal India Institute to build India’s soft power

Sonipat: O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), based in Haryana’s Sonipat, has launched a unique, one-of-its-kind Jindal India Institute (JII). It is a strategic think tank housed within a private university for ideationally and intellectually enabling India’s rise in the world by building and disseminating a transnational, intellectually rigorous, evidence-based, multidisciplinary corpus of knowledge that promotes the positive aspects and achievements of India.

II’s goal is to intellectually decolonise the study and depiction of India and spread global awareness about India’s extraordinary accomplishments and potential in the 21st century. Until now, only international educational institutions such as King’s College London, the University of Birmingham, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania have been known to have set up reputed India Institutes or Centres that cover diverse aspects of the India story through their in-house scholars and transnational networks and their own ideological lenses. It is ironic and lamentable that despite the existence of more than 1,000 universities and 50,000 higher education institutions in India, not one of them had so far ventured into anything akin to a JII that would comprehensively and convincingly tell the remarkable India story to the world.

A multidisciplinary, all-encompassing India Institute that can bolster India’s rise through an independent narrative about the millions of transformations the country is undergoing has been missing in Indian academia. JII is a pioneer that intends to fill this big vacuum and ideationally propel India’s rise. The tagline of JII is ‘Propelling the Indian Century’, by which the Institute means working toward fulfilling national objectives for the centenary of India’s independence in 2047, such as Viksit Bharat or developed India and ‘leading power’, and also to develop an imagination and roadmap for long-term strategizing on how India can be a world leader for the entire 21st century.

Although India is today fiercely independent and protective of its strategic autonomy, there is still an unfortunate tendency to look up to Western educational institutions and news media houses for learning, knowledge production and judgement on what India is and where it should be heading. JII aims to break the intellectual hegemony of India being other-defined and usher in a culture and practice of high-quality research, analysis, policy advocacy and trainings that enable a self-defined and self-confident India to emerge as a world leader.

JII is led by the Vice Chancellor of JGU, Dr. C. Raj Kumar, who is JII’s President, and the Dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs, Dr Sreeram Chaulia, who is JII’s Director General. On the occasion of JII’s establishment, the Vice Chancellor of JGU and president of the Jindal India Institute (JII), Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar said: “The task of offering the true picture of India to the world cannot be left to governments or Public Relations agencies. Only a top non-partisan private university like JGU with over 1200 research-oriented faculty members from multiple disciplines can do justice to this cause. Higher educational institutions in India have a special responsibility to uphold the image and raise the stature of our country in the world. India’s aspirations for building a Viksit Bharat in 2047 is only possible when its own universities generate knowledge about India in a systematic and strategic way that impresses and influences international audiences. JII is an ambitious effort to increase global support and appreciation for India’s accomplishments and potential in a range of issue areas and fields. We intend to transform perceptions about India through eye-opening and pioneering research, teaching, policy advocacy and training initiatives.”

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