2021 Cisco Agri Challenge

Purdue University, through its Office of Global Partnerships and Shah Family Global Innovation Lab, is proud to be an Innovation Partner of The Nudge Prize and the 2021 Cisco Agri Challenge. Launched by NGO The/Nudge Foundation, together with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, Prize competitions aim to bring together a network of cross-sector experts in order to discover innovations aimed at minimizing and mitigating grand economic challenges in India. The Prize, which will have a different corporate social responsibility sponsor each year, is expected to offer total grants up to INR 70 million (~1 million USD). Reviving Livelihoods, Resilient Cities, Digital Connectivity, and Empowered Communities, are just a few of the themes expected for future competitions.

7th Annual India-Purdue Collaborative Lecture Series

Did you miss the opportunity to tune in for Purdue’s 7th Annual India-Purdue Collaborative Lecture Series in Honor of Professor C.N.R. Rao? Thankfully, the recordings from all the panels are available online and viewable at the below links! This year’s series, which took place virtually from May 17-May 22, 2021, covered a range of thought-provoking topics in alignment with the University’s marketing theme “The Persistent Pursuit of the Next Giant Leap” and culminated with an exclusive Indian classical musical performance by renowned Carnatic musical performers Ranjani & Gayatri, in collaboration with Indian Classical Music Association of Purdue (ICMAP). 

Monday, May 17  “Vaccine Development and Future Pandemics: A One Health Approach 


  • Thomas Sors, Assistant Director, Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology, and Infectious Disease, Purdue University (moderator). 
  • Suresh Mittal, Distinguished Professor of Virology, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University.
  • Deepak Sapra, CEO of Pharmaceutical Services & Active Ingredients, lead for the Vaccines Initiative at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.
  • Shahid Jameel, Director, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University.

Tuesday, May 18: “Social Media and Its Impact on Politics


  • Robert Browning, professor of political science and communication and director of the C-SPAN Archives, Purdue University (moderator).
  • Anant Goenka, executive director, The Indian Express, Mumbai, India 
  • Sorin Matei, professor of communication and associate dean for research and graduate education, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University.
  • Vaiju Naravane, professor and head, Department of Media Studies, Ashoka University. 
Wednesday, May 19: “Agritech


  • Jerry Shively, associate dean and director of International Programs in Agriculture; professor of agricultural economics, Purdue University (moderator).
  • Ram Dhulipala, theme leader - Digital Agriculture & Youth, Innovation Systems for the Drylands, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, India.
  • Shaun Ferris, director of agriculture and livelihoods, Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore.
  • Dharmendra Saraswat, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, Purdue University. 
Thursday, May 20: “Business and the Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in a Post-Pandemic World


  • Rajan Navani, vice chairman, managing director and CEO, JetSynthesys (moderator).
  • David Hummels, the Dr. Samuel R. Allen Dean of the Krannert School of Management; Distinguished Professor of Economics. 
  • Rudy Shriram, Joint President, DCM Shriram Industries Limited.
  • Anjana Reddy, CEO, USPL.
Saturday, May 22  Ranjani & Gayatri
(the full performance is no longer available online but please check out the artists’ website

The India-Purdue Collaborative Lecture Series in Honor of Professor C.N.R. Rao was launched in 2014 and celebrates Purdue's longstanding links with India as well as current partnerships in research, education and commercialization. The annual series features distinguished faculty, experts and leaders in areas of interest for advancement of science, technology and the humanities in India.

Professor C.N.R. Rao was chair of the Scientific Advisory Council to the prime minister of India from 1985 to 1989 and again from 2005 to 2014. He founded, and continues to work in, the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and International Centre for Materials Science. Rao graduated from Purdue in 1958 with a doctorate in chemistry and received an honorary doctorate in science in 1982. Rao, who has authored more than 1,600 research publications and 51 books, has received numerous awards for scholarship and science and was the first recipient of the India Science Award instituted by the government of India.

The seventh annual India-Purdue Collaborative Lecture Series was produced by the Purdue-India Partnership, Purdue Office of Global Partnerships and the Purdue for Life Foundation with technical support from the Purdue Hall of Music Productions. Thanks to sponsors Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, GVK, SMT, TVS, and Purdue Alumni India, all events were free of charge. 

Purdue Welcomes New Cohort of Indian Researchers Under Prestigious Fellowship Program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University has a long-standing strategic focus on higher education collaboration with Indian institutions and researchers. The University’s alliance with India’s Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is a key pillar of the Purdue-India Partnership. This alliance has resulted in 50 fellowships for visiting PhD students through the Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship (OVDF) Program since Purdue and SERB signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2017. Fellows in the latest cohort of 25 have begun arriving at Purdue and will continue to arrive through July to begin their 12-month research fellowship, allowing for additional flexibility due to the global pandemic.

“OVDF is intended to build long-term R&D linkages and collaborations between Purdue faculty and accomplished scientists and researchers in India. Engaging in world-changing research is core to Purdue’s mission as a land-grant university, and as articulated in the Purdue Moves. The research projects to which the Fellows are contributing are helping Purdue set itself apart as a leading institution that is dedicated to tackling global challenges. It is inspiring to see the dedication and passion that these young researchers have for their work and the strong and sustainable ties that they are building with Purdue that I am certain will endure beyond the end of the fellowship period.”

- Heidi Arola, Director, Office of Global Partnerships

SERB annually sends abroad just 35 Doctoral Fellows from leading Indian institutions through this prestigious and competitive program; 25 of them will be heading to Purdue in 2021. Several projects from this year's cohort involve seeking solutions to mitigate pressing global issues like Climate Change from the standpoints of engineering and science. Projects span the breadth of Purdue’s many disciplines and fellows from 16 different Indian institutions will be working in 14 different Purdue departments this year. Examples of project topics include: Understanding Tropical Cyclones; Studying the Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Productivity; Investigating Viral and Protein Interactions in the Zika Virus; Modeling for Urban Floods; and Developing Protocols for Scaling Bitcoin, just to name a few. The diversity in topics is mirrored in the diversity of its participants. This year’s cohort is 56% female (up from 32%) and, overall, 28 leading Indian institutions from across the country have sent fellows to the program.

Reflecting on their one-year stay at Purdue, past fellows expressed their appreciation for the program:

“The OVDF program gave me a glimpse into an internationally competitive research environment, which will aid me in achieving new heights in my career. Purdue is one of the top institutes ranked amongst the best in the world and has always been a dream destination for young researchers like me.”

-Vedita Singh, OVDF Fellow ‘19, IIT Roorkee, Purdue Advisor Professor Richard Kuhn

“Purdue has helped me to think more independently, improve my research problem-solving skills and work as part of a multidisciplinary research team. My goal is to become a visionary, hardworking, wexperienced, and dedicated researcher with the hope of mending the gap between “benchside and bedside” anti-cancer research and healing.

-Souvik Debnath, OVDF ‘19, Jadavpur University, Purdue Advisor Professor Sophie Lelievre

To see a list of program benefits, visit SERB’s OVDF page.

For more background information about the OVDF program see related articles:

May 2018
September 2018
September 2019