An Afternoon with the USIEF (Delhi, Day Four)

On February 2, 1950, the Fulbright program was established in India through an authorization signed by Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. On July 4, 2008, the latest version of the Fulbright Agreement was signed by United States Ambassador David C. Mulford and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon in New Delhi.

My meeting with the United States—India Educational Foundation brought historical perspective to my present situation and instilled some dreams of the future, not only for myself but for others I know who could benefit from the various opportunities to live, work, learn and teach in India.

Each American citizen is allowed two Fulbright grants per lifetime, or a total of four short-term grants, which last for less than two months. Timing is another stipulation; there must be a five year gap between traditional grants, three years for short-term. Find out more here:

After an introduction about the Fulbright programs in India, Niti Bhutani, a guest speaker from the department of economics, Hindu College, University of Delhi, walked us through India’s complex economic system. Let me point out, we have at least two economic gurus among my group, Ricky and Gary, and I suspect that everyone knows more about global economics than me, since nearly everything I know is based on a one-semester econ course I was forced to take in order to graduate from high school. Thanks for the lessons Mr. Powers (he literally had gigantic popeyelike forearms, coupled with an almost-hitlerlike moustache), but your classes were boring. I learned more from my friend Andy Malone, who told me through out-of-the-blue art class chatter about Malthusian economics and the threat of overpopulation, ideas that have stuck with me and fascinated me always. Anyway, here’s what I learned from Niti…

India’s economic policy can be broken down into three phases: I. 1951-1965 Growth-oriented, II. 1966-1990 Equity-oriented, III. Post-1991 Post-liberalization. Talk amongst yourselves, because I’m not sure I can break that down for you any further. I’ll try. The phase one strategy was to import less and manufacture more domestically.

Hold on, I’m boring myself.

To be continued….

Come to India!


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