U.S.-India Higher Education Collaboration and Internationalization

Miami University is excited to partner with the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to contribute to the development of internationalization leaders at Indian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the creation of university partnerships and collaborations between India and the United States. The cohort of participants will engage in the training course, which will require approximately 10 hours per month commitment from February through November 2022 (combination of synchronous virtual interactions and independent work).

Participants in the program will:

  • Become familiar with the existing scholarly literature and currently accepted best practices for internationalization and collaboration in U.S. institutions by working through online course modules and engaging virtually with U.S. Senior International Officers (SIOs) and administrators in the United States
  • Attend the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference May 31 to June 3, 2022 in Denver, Colorado
  • Develop campus internationalization strategic plans for their own institutions
    Help develop a model of campus internationalization specifically for the Indian context


Hirak Acharya

Ahmedabad University
Mumbai Consular Region

Mr Hirak Acharya is associated with Ahmedabad University as In-Charge, Office of International Affairs and Office of Alumni Affairs and Advancement. A Gold Medalist and an alumnus of Ahmedabad University, Mr Acharya is a strong & experienced Operations Professional with a proven track record of successful project management & producing quality outcomes through leadership & team motivation/ building.

He is responsible for supporting the University leadership team in end-to-end planning, coordination, alignment, execution, and management of International Affairs & Alumni Affairs and Advancement through flawless coordination and collaboration with internal & external stakeholders. He has worked across multiple offices & domains to have a holistic approach to Education Management.

He works with determination & navigates high-stress situations by achieving goals on time & under budget. Detail-oriented, adept at making critical decisions, proactive, progressive, cross-team collaborations are some of his key strengths. He loves to network, travel, and explore new challenges and opportunities in life.

Siva Rama Krishna Prasad Chekuri

National Institute of Technology Warangal
Hyderabad Consular Region

Prof. CSRK Prasad has obtained all his three engineering degrees from REC Warangal (presently NIT Warangal). He has 33 years of teaching and research experience, mostly at NIT Warangal. He taught several courses to both B.Tech. (Civil Engineering) and M.Tech. (Transportation Engineering) students apart from guiding 259 Dissertation works and 32 Project works. Under his guidance, Five PhD were awarded, and currently, 6 scholars are working.

Prof. Prasad has carried out seven externally funded R&D projects as principal investigator and associated with another 2 projects. He has established the MOUD Centre of Excellence on Urban Transport. He acquired expertise in several areas of Transportation Engineering, such as travel demand modelling, mass transportation planning, Traffic Engineering, ITS, Road Safety, Low Volume Roads. He has published 125 papers in journals and conferences.

Prof. Prasad has executed several major consultancy projects (about 35) as a study team member as well as coordinator. He is also a principal coordinator of the State Technical Agency (STA) and Principal Technical Agency (PTA) of the PMGSY programme of MoRD, GOI. He has conducted more than 50 short terms programmes, workshops, conferences/seminars. He participated in about 150 programs (conferences, seminars, workshops, short term training programs, etc). He is a member of the BOS of several institutions/universities. Prof. Prasad has acquired vast administrative experience by holding several assigned positions like faculty in charge of Transportation Engineering Laboratory, Head of Transportation Division, Head of Civil Engineering, Admission Officer, Academic Nodal Officer of TEQIP II, Coordinator of Continuing Education Programme and Dean of International Relations and Alumni Affairs. He has accomplished all his tasks with utmost sincerity and dedication. At present, he is holding the position of an Advisor (Corporate Relations & Resource Mobilisation).

Suranjan Das

Jadavpur University
Kolkata Consular Region

Professor Suranjan Das is currently the Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and Honorary Professor at Exeter University, UK. He had been the Vice-Chancellor and Professor of History at Calcutta University. A recipient of D.Phil. degree of Oxford University, he specialises in South Asian history and politics, especially identity politics, socio-cultural transformation, nation-building and Indian foreign policy. He has authored six monographs, co-authored six books, co-edited seven volumes and published several widely cited articles in referred journals. He is a recipient of many national awards and fellowships; he has held visiting assignments at such leading international institutions of higher learning Australia India Institute of Melbourne University, University of Hull, the Maison Des Sciences De L’ Homme, Mershon Centre of Ohio State University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Illionis at Urbana-Champaign and the Oxford Brookes University. He had been a Visiting Professor of the British Academy in 2000.

Professor Das has served in policy formulation bodies concerned with India’s higher education like the University Grants Commission, Indian Council of Historical Research and National Assessment and Accreditation Council He was Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees of Indian Museum, Kolkata, member of the Executive Committees of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and member of the Governing Council, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, He is currently the Vice-President of the Association of Indian Universities.

Barani Gunatharan

Bharathiar University, Coimbatore
Chennai Consular Region

Dr.G.Barani has 22 years of experience in teaching, wherein she is serving as an Associate Professor in the School of Management and Entrepreneur Development of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. She has published a considerable number of research articles in various journals of national and international repute. Twelve scholars were awarded Ph.D under her guidance, and six scholars are pursuing their research. She has published eight books.

She has also actively participated and presented papers in conferences and seminars organized at national and international levels. She serves as a resource person for delivering lectures on various topics in Marketing, Human Resources Management and Entrepreneurship and Women-related issues.

She has received the Best Teacher Award by Lions Club, Erode in the year of 2007. She has also obtained the Young Women Achiever Award in the year of 2011 by Lions Club. She has won the Best Paper of the Session Award during the 2012 International Conference on Economics, Business and Marketing Management at Singapore. She is a recipient of Best Woman Teacher Award by Nature and Science Foundation.

She has also visited Singapore, Dubai and U.S.A. for International conferences in 2013, 2014 and 2019 respectively. She has obtained research grants from ICSSR IMPRESS and RUSA. She has held a number of offices including, Director of Women Development Centre, Personal secretary to Vice- Chancellor and Deputy Director for Centre of Affiliations at Anna University, Regional Centre, Coimbatore. As a passionate environmentalist, she has coordinated plantation of over a lakh saplings at Anna University and Bharathiar University (India) with the support of NGO and corporate. She is the Founder Coordinator of BU-Centre for International Affairs.

Purna Chandra Kishan Kaz

GITAM (Deemed to be University)
Hyderabad Consular Region

Prof. (Dr) K P C KISHAN is an accomplished academic administrator having over 25 years of experience working in diverse cultures in USA and India. In the early 90s, he worked for EF International (MNC) at San Diego Campus as Director of Housing for 3 years in managing housing and welfare of 6000+ students from over 25 countries in Europe, Latin America and East Asia. Since 2003, he held several roles in GITAM as Professor in Management, Campus Placement Director, Chairperson of Admissions and Collaborations. He negotiated with the University of Glasgow (UoG), UK to sign their first Indian MoU with GITAM to launch the M.Sc (Management) twinning program in 2007. Then, he was invited to attend an all-paid training program at UoG, UK to launch the program successfully. Further, he was instrumental in signing articulations agreements for MBA Twinning Programs with Central Michigan University and University of Nebraska which are still active even after 14 years. Since inception of the function, he is head of the directorate of International Affairs at GITAM (Deemed to be University) for all the three campuses in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam with close to 25000 full time students in Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs.

Under his leadership, GITAM received its Faculty Mobility grant from the Erasmus Program in 2021. The number of international students at GITAM increased from Zero to 350 in four years from 45 countries. He has traveled extensively to over 20 countries while promoting GITAM programs. At present, GITAM has over 20 active MoUs with universities in USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Russia and Australia. So far, over 300+ GITAM students got the opportunity to study abroad through the MoUs and articulation agreements. He had supported visits of several university-delegations to GITAM to participate in guest lectures, workshops and Seminars.

His goal is to provide an opportunity for every student at GITAM to experience Study-abroad through internships, Summer School, Semester-abroad or Transfer credits with partner Universities especially with those in USA and Canada that are most sought-after by GITAM students.

At present, he is developing the GITAM Internationalization strategy in-line with GITAM vision to become a global top 100 by 2040.

Sheetal Khanka

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies
New Delhi Consular Region

Dr. Sheetal Khanka has 16 years of experience in academics and academic administration. She currently heads the Department of International Affairs at UPES (University of Petroleum and Energy Studies). UPES has eight Schools (School of Engineering, School of Business, School of Law, School of Computer Science, School of Design, School of Health Sciences, School of Modern Media and School of Liberal Studies). She leads school-specific collaborative projects and has been instrumental in academic collaborations of UPES with various universities for exchange, research, joint projects, co-teaching and progression opportunities to the students. She aligns the internationalization strategy and manages the international collaborations with universities and organizations as per the governmental regulations.

She creates programs for international students and supervises the onboarding process and academic journey of international students at UPES. In addition, she works closely with Embassies, Education administrators, global forums to create the international road map for the University. Her profile also includes outreach activities with partner universities, students and faculty, like coordinating for virtual learning platforms for research and internship opportunities of the UPES students.

She is a faculty (Associate Professor) in Human Resource, Organization Behavior, Business Communication and Negotiation. In addition, she was Assistant Dean Planning and Monitoring School of Business, UPES (2018 -2020) and Head of the students club at School of Business UPES (2014-2018).

She has a doctorate in Knowledge Management, is a postgraduate in Business Administration (Human Resource Management), and graduated in Psychology and Economics. She believes in collaboration and strives to create a learning platform for students, scholars and organizations through international exposure and partnerships.

Tanya Koshy

Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Mumbai Consular Region

Tanya Koshy is Senior Program Manager at the Office for International Affairs at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). AT TISS, she looks at building international partnerships to further academic research collaborations, joint project work, joint and dual degrees, student and faculty mobility, international workshops and conferences, and the internationalization of higher education.

She holds a master's in International Security from Sciences Po, Paris, and has over ten years of experience of working within the fields of education, anti-trafficking, conservation, sustainable development and Country of Origin Information (COI) research.

Nithyananda KV

Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli
Chennai Consular Region

Nithyananda has been a faculty member at IIM Trichy in the General Management Area since June 2011. IIM Trichy is the 11th IIM setup by the Government of India in the year 2011. Before joining IIM Trichy, he earned his PhD in the area of Intellectual property and its management from National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He has 18 years of teaching, 6 years of consulting, and 2 years of industry experience.

He is currently responsible for forging, maintaining, and expanding international relations at IIM Trichy. After taking over this role, he has increased the number of partnerships by about 100% and increased the number of outgoing students under exchange programmes by more than 300%.

He is very passionate about international relations and even secured the Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar for 2020. He is expected to visit the US during 2022.

Gunjan Sanjeev

Amity University
New Delhi Consular Region

Prof. (Dr.) Gunjan M. Sanjeev is a versatile institution builder who is driving some of the strategic internationalization initiatives of high importance at Amity University, India, that include setting up of international campuses for Amity Group, fostering International linkages with top tier Universities across the world, seeking International Accreditations, Creating study abroad opportunities for students and enhancing the learning experience of international students.

She has been spearheading the task of internationalization of higher education for over twenty years now travelling extensively and forging partnerships across US, UK, France, Ireland and other nations in Asia. She has held senior academic leadership roles for top foreign universities-namely, Oxford Brookes University, U.K. and University of Bradford, U.K. at their India operations and has been instrumental in successfully leading QAA visits and validation processes of Business programs for award of UK degrees. She has also served as the jury for the prestigious European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) Case Writing Competition 2020 for the "Indian Management Issues and Opportunities category”. She is a regular contributor of her thoughts on internationalization of higher education in reputed national and international dailies and magazines of repute such as The Economic Times (ETGovernment), India Today, The PIE News (UK) to name a few.

She has a proven track record in editorial work. She is the theme editor to five special issues (2010, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2021 ) of a Scopus- indexed international journal “Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes” published by Emerald Publishing, U.K. and is also on the editorial board of several reputed journals. Many of her research papers have won awards in various prestigious forums, namely, Outstanding paper award 2013 by Emerald Publishing UK; First category award for a case study, Emerald Publishing, U.K 2011; Best paper award at IIM, Lucknow 2005 nominated for best paper award at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 2005 to name a few. She is serving as an advisory member to the Indo Canada Education Council.

Kartar Singh

SRM Institute of Science and Technology
Chennai Consular Region

Mr. Kartar Singh joined SRM Institute of Science & Technology (formally known as SRM University) as Director, International Relations in 2014 after working in the British Council in Chennai for nearly 3 decades, after serving as the Deputy Director for South India.

Having specialized in Industrial Microbiology Mr. Kartar Singh has a Master of Fisheries Science Degree in Industrial Fisheries from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore in 1978. His work provided new insights into post-harvest preservation techniques. He spent 2 years 1974 – 1976 teaching food science at the Institute of Food Science and Catering Technology, Mumbai during which time he published several paper in food science.

During his tenure at the British council he was responsible for identifying, formulating and implementing projects in STEM areas, and arts and culture. He was on the core committee of the Indo-UK Education and Research Initiative (UKERI) that has come to define the bilateral relationship in Science and Technology between the UK and India. He managed over 100 projects for British Council funded Higher Education Links Scheme and Technical Cooperation projects of the UK government’s Department for International Development, valued at over 15 M pounds. He led the design and implementation of the UK Prime Minister’s Global Fellowship Programme to sensitise school leaving students in the UK to understand the drivers for India’s emergence as a major global economy.

As Director, International Relations at SRM IST, he has oversight of the International Relations work in developing academic partnerships, student mobility programmes, faculty exchange, international admissions and developing capacity building projects in higher education. He is an advisor to several Indian and UK organizations engaged in teacher training, school education and environmental conservation.

Briju Thankachan

G.S. Gawande College
Mumbai Consular Region

Dr. Briju Thankachan is a Visiting Scientist at the Interdisciplinary Programme in Educational Technology (IDP-ET) in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India. In addition, he advises G.S. Gawande (GSG) College in Umarkhed, India with their technology integration needs and is the founding director of Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at GSG. Previously, Dr. Thankachan served as the Director of Curriculum and Assessment Design and Improvement at the Ohio University USA. Dr. Thankachan developed the Instructional Decisions Model (IDM), to help educators make better decisions in the learning design process. As a certified Quality Matters peer reviewer, Dr. Thankachan designed online and hybrid courses for the School of Nursing at Ohio University. As an adjunct professor, he taught Advanced Instructional Design and Technology Application in Education at the Ohio University, Patton College of Education. In 2018, Dr. Thankachan served as the president of the International Division of Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) and is a certified trainer in Team-Based Learning (TBL). Thankachan also completed the “Higher Education Teaching Certificate” from Harvard University’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning in November 2019.

Chithrabhannu Vinodan

Mahatma Gandhi University
Chennai Consular Region

C. Vinodan is currently Director, School of International Relations and Politics& Honorary Director, Institute for Contemporary Chinese Studies (ICCS) , Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India. He served as Visiting Professor, Jinan University, China during November- December 2019. He was awarded the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Fellowship (2003) by the Claremont Graduate University, California, USA. He has attended numerous courses and lectured extensively at Universities and conferences within India and abroad. These include the 2019 ISA Asia-Pacific conference at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 2017 ISA International Conference at University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 2016 Sino-Indian Cross Cultural Dialogues held by the Institute of Advanced International Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; the US Department of States Fulbright American Studies Institute (FASI) course on Foreign Policy at the University of Delaware, Philadelphia in 2000; Regional Center for Strategic Studies (Colombo) Summer Workshop on Defense, technology and Cooperative security in South Asia “ at Katmandu, Nepal in 2000 etc. His areas of teaching and research include: IR theory, Security studies, India’s foreign policy, China studies, South Asia, Indo- Pacific studies;US foreign policy and Indo- US relations, climate change and energy security, human security, Public health and pandemics, local governance and public policy in India etc… He is currently member of the editorial board of the Journal of Human Security (Canada); editor of the Indian Journal of Politics and International Relations and South Asian Journal of Diplomacy. C.Vinodan is the author/editor of 17 books, over 70 journal articles and book chapters.

Program Facilitators

Karla Guinigundo is Director of Global Partnerships at Miami University and has worked in the field of international education for nearly two decades. Ms. Guinigundo participated in the Fulbright International Education Administrator Seminar to India in 2017 and has helped grow Miami University’s partnerships in India. She is an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and is currently Chair of the Ohio International Consortium.

Vaishali Raval is Professor of Psychology at Miami University. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Raval has engaged in cross-cultural health research in collaboration with colleagues at universities in India. She is Project Director for two funded projects focused on India, one through the U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Award from USEIF and the other through the Partnership 2020 Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State.