Duke India Initiative Funds Duke Faculty Projects

Chris Sims, Undergraduate Education Director,
Lecturing Fellow in Documentary Arts

December 2, 2017
Meredith Watkins

On December 1, the Duke India Initiative (DII) held its first year-end gathering, bringing together members of the Duke community to network, learn about the initiative’s programming, and hear from faculty grant recipients about their DII-funded projects.

45 students, faculty, and staff gathered as Suzanne Katzenstein (Kenan Institute for Ethics); Volker Blum (Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science); Erika Weinthal (Nicholas School of the Environment); Chris Sims (Center for Documentary Studies); and Ana Barros (Pratt School of Engineering) gave short presentations on their DII-funded projects, which covered topics including India’s corporate social responsibility law, water service provision and politics, and creating photovoltaic materials for solar energy. Details.

Duke Faculty Avner Vengosh Invited for Keynote Presentation in India 

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Dr. Avner Vengosh in New Delhi, India

Avner Vengosh was invited to present an opening keynote presentation titled “Challenges and Opportunities of groundwate resources in Southeast Asia” at the 7th International Groundwater Conference on "Groundwater Vision 2030” held in New Delhi, India, last week. In addition, Professor Vengosh gave a second keynote presentation titled “New Insights into Groundwater Quality in Northwestern India”. The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Institute of National Hydrology in India with participation of the ministers and secretaries of the water and environment ministries in India. The presentation of Dr. Vengosh was part of a new research program aims to evaluate emerging contaminants issues in groundwater and drinking water in India, with special emphasis on water resources in northwestern India (Rajasthan, Gujarat). Conference Information.

Duke Launches India Initiative with Talk on Air Pollution

Jackie Kennedy at the Taj Mahal, captured by Cecil Stoughton
Jackie Kennedy at the Taj Mahal by Cecil Stoughton

September 19, 2017
Emilie Poplett

In an iconic photograph, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy poses in front of the Taj Mahal during a visit to India in 1962. The photo is remembered as one of the most emblematic shots of Ms. Kennedy’s public life, but Duke professor Mike Bergin noticed it for another reason: if you look closely, you can see scaffolding lining one of the landmark’s marble towers.

Bergin’s theory is that the towers weren’t being fixed, but cleaned. The photograph, he believes, is an early artifact of the Taj Mahal’s gradual discoloration due to air pollution. Along with Indian partners, Bergin led the 2009 study that determined why the monument’s once pristine white marble has slowly turned to yellow: layers of dust and pollutants from trash burning have been settling on its surface for decades. Details

Duke Opens Office in Bangalore

Namrata Jha, executive director of the India office,
tours the Duke with Adem Gusa.

September 19, 2017

Duke University launched an office in Bangalore this summer to foster collaborations between North Carolina-based Duke and Indian universities and organizations.

The entity, called Duke University India, builds on existing Duke-India partnerships, including academic exchange programs and research collaborations.

Duke’s current partners in India include NITI-Aayog, the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University in Ahmedabad, Narayana Health City, the Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar. Details.