Students and Faculty

Purdue is currently home to 2001 Indian students—933 undergraduates and 1068 graduate and professional program students. Purdue’s Indian students hail from every major metropolitan area in India and from Indian students on six continents. Indian students represent 21.9% of our international student body—up from 18.2% two years ago. Thanks to the generous contributions of Purdue alumni, since 2016, Purdue has offered merit-based scholarships to students from India, through the Indian Emerging Scholar fund.

Indian students play an active role in campus activities. There are dozens of student organizations in which students can become involved. For example, Indian Graduate Students at Purdue (IGRASP) is a campus cultural organization that aims to build a sense of community away from home for Indian graduate students at Purdue by easing the initial transition to U.S. university life while celebrating the major Indian holidays. Visit their website or Facebook page:

Purdue has several other clubs and associations that are geared toward Indian students and/or celebrate Indian culture. Check them out.

Student Profile

Sukshitha Achar P L

Sukshitha Achar is a first-year PhD student of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue, serving as a research assistant under Dr. Ganesh Subbarayan and working in the field of Solid Mechanics. Sukshitha received her master’s degree from Purdue in 2018 and completed her undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering from R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore in 2015.

An avid Applied Physics enthusiast, Sukshitha made the most of her time as an undergraduate student of Mechanical Engineering in India, exploring advancements in research and development in the field through internships at TVS Motors, STAR-CCM+ and National Aerospace Laboratories. The skills and experiences she gained in these internships further solidified her desire to pursue a career in scientific research. Sukshitha joined Purdue in 2016 as a graduate student and completed a project on “Optimal Design of Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs)” in the HiDAC lab under the guidance of Dr. Ganesh, as part of the Cooling Technologies Research Centre.

Sukshitha is a passionate Carnatic Music enthusiast and currently serves as Treasurer of the Indian Classical Music Organization of Purdue (ICMAP). ICMAP has been continuously involved in hosting and promoting Indian classical music to Purdue and the Greater Lafayette community for the past 25+ years. ICMAP hosts professional concerts, organizes and trains students towards classical open-mic events and provides a platform for them to showcase their musical talents.

Sukshitha’s other hobbies include playing Badminton and reading editorials and op-eds about current affairs, public policy, arts and history.

Faculty Profile

Mangala Subramaniam

Mangala Subramaniam is Professor of Sociology and Chair & Director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence in the Office of the Provost. She is a leading scholar in the areas of gender, social movements, environmental justice, and globalization. Her research projects are global in scope and examine the contentious nature of the politics of gender, caste, and class issues surrounding rights – the management and control of resources such as water and access to health care, specifically HIV prevention particularly in India. She also studies faculty satisfaction, recognition, and climate within universities and identifies strategies to address bias. She has published four books –on topics of gender and environmental justice, particularly water rights – and several journal articles. In 2013, Dr. Subramaniam collaborated with the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, IIT, Madras to organize a symposium titled, State and Social Movements: Violence, Health, Food Security, and which resulted in a special issue of the Journal of World Systems Research.

Among her numerous awards and honors is the Woman of Distinction award in the 2017 Salute to Women Honorees recognized by YWCA, Greater Lafayette area for her work in the community (local and global). She has been quoted extensively about leadership in the newspaper, DNA Money (Mumbai) as the Director of the Butler Center. Her research was covered in Purdue’s 2017-18 annual research report and in Dimensions of Discovery (September-October 2018) as part of Purdue 150 years-Giant Leaps for Health. Short essays from her research have appeared in the Deccan Herald (Bengaluru, India) newspaper. Recently she was interviewed by the BBC World News TV on her thoughts on gender equality, specifically about women’s rights to visit the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

Dr. Subramaniam’s success in teaching has been recognized at the department and college level with awards. Her public engagement activities bring gender inequities (and caste and racial inequities) to the forefront. She has given talks at the local Public Library and the Unitarian-Universalist Forum. Her expertise and leadership are also recognized off-campus. Dr. Subramaniam has held elected offices in the Sociologists for Women in Society and the Sex and Gender Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA). She has also served as a member of the Editorial Board of Gender and Society, the premier scholarly sociological journal for gender-related research. She is currently an Associate Editor of Social Problems, a major journal in sociology, and serves on the editorial board of Journal of World Systems Research, the official journal of the Political Economy of the World-System Section of the ASA.

As the Chair and Director of the Butler Center, Professor Subramaniam has engaged the campus in conversations about inclusion, climate, and supported faculty, staff, and students. The Center has organized professional development programs related to salary negotiation and leadership and a research panel about the gendering of faculty service loads. A major research related initiative is the working paper series ‘Navigating Careers in the Academy: Gender, Race, and Class’ commenced in Spring 2018 in collaboration with Purdue ADVANCE. The working paper series is intended to serve as a space for sharing research findings about experiences in higher education and reflective experiences based on the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation. As a sequel to the Conference for Pre-tenure Women that is organized by the Center each fall, a conference for associate professors has been initiated; the inaugural conference, ‘Strategies for Maintaining Momentum to Advance from Associate to Full Professor’ was in March 2019.

In her spare time, Dr. Subramaniam keeps herself informed about the economic and political news in India. She is an avid tennis fan, enjoys listening to Indian classical music and reading fiction and nonfiction, and collects art. She has traveled widely within and outside India and particularly likes driving through Southern Karnataka.