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Examining India

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  • Two top UK business schools announce new links with India
  • Oxford's Sad school plans Indian center and new professorship
  • Cambridge's Judge school setting up own India business institute
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By Peter Walker for CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Amid all the talk about China's recent transformation, it's sometimes easy to forget that Asia is home to another fast-emerging economic superpower -- India.

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India has a strong business education tradition

The country's rapid development has been matched by an explosion in top quality business education, marked most recently by the appearance of the Hyderabad-based Indian Business School in the top 20 of the Financial Times ranking of leading global MBAs.

A key part of India's development of business education has been close ties with Britain, the country's former colonial ruler and home to more than a million people of Indian origin, not to mention a partner in bilateral trade worth nearly $15 billion last year.

Many UK schools, having long ed out student exchanges and the like with India, are now taking links a step further with special business centers dedicated to researching and furthering economic ties with India.

The latest of these involve the UK's most venerable universities, Oxford and Cambridge, both of which have historic ties to India.

Oxford has just announced a new India Business Center and professorship in Indian Business Studies, based at its highly-rated Sad Business School and funded by a $15 million donation from Indian tycoon Ajit Gulabchand, chairman of the Hindustan Construction company.

Oxford University's vice chancellor -- a position equivalent to dean -- Dr John Hood, said India had a lot of valuable lessons for the world.

"The primary objective of this research center is to learn from India's business success," he said in New Delhi, where the new center was announced.

"A clear understanding of the issues faced by India and their innovative solutions, as India transitions from poverty to prosperity, will form a guide to future generations of countries attempting similar transitions."

Oxford, he noted, had a long tradition of links with India, with the first students from that country coming to study at the university in 1871.

Fact Box

FT MBA Rankings
1. Wharton, U.S.
2. London Business School, UK
3. Columbia, U.S.
4. Stanford GSB, U.S.
5. Harvard, U.S.
6. Insead, France/Singapore
7. MIT: Sloan, U.S.
8. IE Business School, Spain
9. University of Chicago GSB, U.S.
10. University of Cambridge: Judge, UK
Source: Financial Times 2008

Professor Colin Mayer, Dean of the Sad school, said the new center would also be about teaching as well as research, and aimed to develop a series of executive education programs to be taught in India.

Also just announced is a new professorship of Indian business and enterprise to be established at Judge Business School, part of Cambridge University.

This is being financed with a $6 million bequest by the Indian government to mark the centenary of the arrival at Cambridge of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, later India's first post-independence prime minister, who studied for a degree in natural sciences.

The professorship -- the first incumbent is still being chosen -- is intended to assist closer links between India and other international economies, and to promote understanding of the country.

"India and the UK are on the path to a healthy bilateral economic and commercial relationship, arising from a common democratic outlook in both the countries," said Professor Arnoud De Meyer, director of the judge school. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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