Kanpur Indo-American Programme
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 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 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.