Kanpur Indo-American Programme

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Norman Dahl with P K Kelkar

The Kanpur Indo-American Program abbreviated as KIAP refers to the consortium formed to provide advisory services to the newly established IIT Kanpur. The name was coined by Mr. G K Chandiramani, Joint Educational Adviser in the Union Ministry of Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs. Subsequently nine leading U.S. universities joined the consortium:

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology
  • Case Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ohio State University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • University of California at Berkley
  • University of Michigan


Events before KIAP

Nehru and his vision of Modern India driven by science and technology led to the setting of the premier institutes of technology across the country. The idea was to train engineers who would develop and run the newly independent country’s industrial and scientific establishment. Shri Humayun Kabir, the then Minister of State for Scientific Research initiated international collaboration for a rapid growth of higher education in the Indian Institutes of Technology.
A team of six American educators, put together by the American Society for Engineering Education, visited India in 1958 and submitted a four volume report (the ASEE report) concerning the future Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur for discussion between the Ministry of Scientific research and Cultural Affairs and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In the first week of 1961 Professor Dahl and a few others visited IIT kanpur and had meetings with Dr Kelkar and the faculty. This small group became larger and came to be known as the Kanpur Indo-American Programme.

The Initial Years

The initial years saw what carved the future of IIT Kanpur. Many IIT kanpur faculty members received hand-on experience in the Consortium institutions. IIT Kanpur also procured equipments, books and journals not available in India through KIAP. The consortium staff though less in number was specialized enough to bring a broad spectrum of ideas. Starting with a strength of mere nine participants in 1962, the program reached its peak in 1965 quadrupaling the strength to 28.

The "Leaders"

The KIAP programme leaders were:

                Name		                 Years
		Prof Norman C Dahl, MIT 	1959-1970
                Prof Robert S Green, OSU        1964-1966
                Prof Robert L Halfman, MIT      1966-1968
                Mr Gilbert Oakley Jr, EDC       1968-1971
                Prof J G Fox, CMU               1971-1972

Benefits to IIT Kanpur

Under KIAP about 50 faculty members and technicians of IIT Kanpur were trained at various Consortium institutions. Another five obtained PhD degrees and one obtained an MS degree. A grant of US$ 20,000 was donated by the Ford Foundation to be used to provide for relocation of Indians from abroad. Eleven members recruited in 1963 returned to India under this grant. The period between 1964 February and 1971 July saw ninety-eight prospective IIT Kanpur faculty members and their families relocate to India and to live at IIT Kanpur for a minimum of two years. By June 1971, an amount of US$ 7.5 million was spent on procuring equipment and developing central facilities. Under the Purdue University Library Collaboration Project, about 40,000 books worth US$ 720,000 were obtained by the library.

Collaborative Research

Collaborative research conducted at IIT Kanpur has led to noteworthy original contributions and have been widely cited. Many students trained under KIAP pursued higher education in USA and have grown to become renowned personalities in critical areas of science and technology.

External Links

IIT Kanpur Infocell link
Kiap book.pdf
Pictures from Gio Wiederhold's Stay in India

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