Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fight On in Bangalore

The world is getting flatter by the day! A high power delegation from our alma mater, University of Southern California, completed a week-long visit in India. The broad goal of the visit was to build sustainable alliances in various fields such as medicine, engineering, arts, business etc. The delegation was led by president, Max Nikias, who was accompanied by the deans of various schools including Viterbi and Marshall along with a couple of trustees.

The level of mutual interest in deep collaboration at this level was evident from the fact that President Max met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during this visit. Ratan Tata, who is a member of the board of trustees of USC, played host for this visit.

We had the opportunity to attend two events in Bangalore. The first was a social event to celebrate the opening of a Viterbi office in Bangalore. This office will serve as a platform from which USC can manage it's collaboration and recruitment activities in India. The following day, USC hosted a panel on Innovation and Globalization. It as a fascinating discussion with an impressive list of panelist focusing on the opportunities and challenges for the world ahead and underscoring the need for greater collaboration in government, industry and academia across the globe.

A summary of the visit and photos have been posted here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2011 World Cup Fever

The 2011 Cricket World Cup started yesterday. We were here four years ago when the last world cup was held but we had been in India only for a few months at that time. Now we are able to fully experience the feverish pitch and enthusiasm around the tournament. Indians are probably the most passionate about cricket - so your experience based in India is unlike anywhere else.

India is also projected as the front runner this year. The country has not won a World Cup for 20 years. So there is a lot of pressure on team India this year. The media is going crazy with polls, predictions and analysis. Times Now (a leading TV station) is running a GLI (Good Luck India) campaign. Religious heads are performing rites and ceremonies for team India's success. And of course the fans are wishing and praying for the team's victory. It is a frenzy!

Teams from 14 countries are competing for the cup this year. The tournament is being hosted by and played in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. Yesterday, India played the first official match of the tournament against Bangladesh and won by a huge margin of 87 runs. Let's see if team India is able to maintain the intensity and focus to bring home the world cup this year.