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All Aboard—The Train to India Is Pulling Out
Interested in becoming a specialist in Indian studies? If so, then the summer course “India Studies: Culture and Trade” is exactly what you need. The intensive one-month program sponsored by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and coordinated by NTHU’s Center for India Studies began at the end of July and was the first such summer course to be offered in Taiwan. The program was tuition-free, and the top third of the class were offered a free one-week exploring tour of India.
 
In addition to classes on Indian politics, economics, trade, and history, the program included practical courses with Indian teachers in such subjects as Hindi, culture, and market analysis—all rounded off with a component providing an in-depth appreciation of Bollywood movies. Deputy director of the Center, Fang Tien-sze, said that enrollment in the course was limited to 30 people, and was open to Taiwanese students currently enrolled in university or graduate school. Students who satisfactorily completed the course received a certificate.
 
With long-term experience in academic exchange with India, center director Wang Wei-chung said that India is playing an increasingly important role in the international community. He also pointed out that India is now attracting large amounts of foreign capital, and that India’s economic growth rate has already surpassed that of China. In her inaugural speech, ROC president Tsai Ing-wen said that India is a key country in her “new southbound policy.” Historically, however, there has been little interaction between India and Taiwan. As a result, Taiwanese businessmen were not familiar with India, and have been reluctant to enter the Indian market.
 
Last year NTHU published a monograph titled Setting up a Shop in India: Bright Ideas from 50 NTHU Students, featuring various proposals for starting business in India. Wang indicated that even though the Center for India Studies was only established this year, he has already been contacted by quite a few business owners eager to hire a business consultant with an in-depth knowledge of the Indian market.
 
Wang said that NTHU has already set up seven centers in India to teach Mandarin, and that this first-time summer program in India studies was intended to make Indo-Taiwanese interactions more of a two-way affair.
 
As Wang puts it, "The train to India is about to leave, so now is the time for young entrepreneurs looking southwards to get on board.”
 
The faculty of the India Studies summer program includes (left to right) Deputy director of the India Center Fang Tien-sze, interpreter Priya Lalwani Purswaney, and Tung Yu-li, who studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

The faculty of the India Studies summer program includes (left to right) Deputy director of the India Center Fang Tien-sze, interpreter Priya Lalwani Purswaney, and Tung Yu-li, who studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

A symposium at NTHU featuring a parliamentary delegation from India.

A symposium at NTHU featuring a parliamentary delegation from India.

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