India Today

Economy, Technology, and People

Friday, October 26, 2012 - Sunday, October 28, 2012

India Today

As a rising state in the world economy and with a rich history and culture, India’s status is shifting. India Today is a one-credit (Pitt)/ three-unit (CMU) mini course, consisting of 14 hours of classes over a weekend, with a major paper assignment to be completed for credit. The course will open with two keynote lectures on Friday evening on an overview of the issues. This will be followed by instructional lectures on Saturday on the various themes by experts in the fields.  Sunday morning will be a discussion of two case studies and a panel discussion by the speakers on future challenges, and some possible projections/ recommendations.

This course is created for undergraduate and graduate students. However, K-12 educators, business and community members are welcome to attend all or sections of the course for free.


As global citizens, students need to have a working knowledge of other countries which are important in shaping the corporate, social and political world. As a rising state in the world economy, India’s status in the business and in world affairs is shifting.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, the students will:
1. Have a general understanding of the corporate, geo-political, cultural and social factors that define the Indian economic, cultural and technological landscape at the present time.
2. Explore one of these factors in depth, through the paper.

Faculty presenters :

Vibhanshu AbhishekCarnegie Mellon University
Laura Brown, University of Pittsburgh
John Camillus, University of Pittsburgh
Arvind Panagariya, Columbia University, School of International & Public Affairs
Nico Slate, Carnegie Mellon University
Sunil Wadhwani, iGate


Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation -  Nilekani, Nandan, Penguin (2008). This book is available in Hillman Library HC435 .N54 2009 and at the University of Pittsburgh's Bookstore


This short course will explore how these three factors interact in India and in the perceived position of India as a world economy. It will explore questions such as:

  • How has India’s capacity for innovation and education kept up with its industrial growth in recent years?
  • How do India’s history and diversity reflect in the policies and the economy of India today? In the way Indians react with the market?
  • What are today’s challenges in attaining equity in quality of life in India? What are some of its greatest needs?
  • What are impediments to India’s economic and business growth?
  • What are the challenges of multinational firms in developing countries and how can those challenges be overcome?
  • How has India achieved a lead in software and pharmaceutical industries?
  • What are some of the salient features of the U.S.-India Relations?
  • How have cultural traditions and modernizations integrated in India? What have been some cultural responses to globalization?
  • What lies ahead? What are the opportunities and challenges in India’s immediate future?


Due to the immersive nature of the course, students are expected to attend all sessions on all three days. Further, each student will be required to read the assigned book and develop a term paper on one dimension of modern India that has been introduced in class. The paper should be based on one of the topics covered in the course. The length of the term paper will be 5-10 pages, double spaced in 11 point font. Term papers are due by November 29th and should be submitted through Carnegie Mellon's Blackboard assignment tab for the course.

Note: The paper is not a book or chapter review, but an overall analysis that demonstrates your reading and thinking on the subject. First articulate an organizing question that you will attempt to answer, and proceed from there to find sources. The organizing question has to be an exploration on one of the issues or aspects addressed by one or several speakers in the course.

As this is a generalist course, we don’t expect a detailed economic or political analysis, but a thorough literature review on the topic and your synthesis of these readings to answer the question with a critical perspective.

Audit Option:

Carnegie Mellon students may also audit the course by attending all the sessions, but not writing the paper. You should be sure to process an audit form, both if you are auditing from the beginning or later if you have decided not to do a paper and want your status changed from credit to audit. Pitt students may also audit but students must choose this option before the beginning of the course. Once the course has started students will be graded based on how they signed up for the course.

Instructors (responsible for grades and class organization):

Professors Nico Slate ( and Amy Burkert ( are responsible for grades at Carnegie Mellon and  Larry Feick ( Veronica Dristas ( and Josephine Olson ( at the University of Pittsburgh, respectively.    Please send e-mail to us individually if you have questions regarding grades.  

Sponsored by:
University of Pittsburgh: Global Studies Center, Asian Studies Center, Department of Economics, Katz Graduate School of Business, the Swanson School of Engineering, International Business Center,
Carnegie Mellon University: H. John Heinz III College, Office of the Provost, Division of Student Affairs

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