As the former Princeton representative on the governing board of the Kanpur Indo-American Program, I was delighted to read President Eisgruber ’83’s piece, “Renewing Princeton’s Ties to India” (President’s Page, April 20). KIAP, as the program was known, was in existence from 1962 to 1972. The largest USAID-supported educational program up to that time, it consisted of a consortium of nine U.S. universities that supplied visiting faculty and staff members to assist the development of the just-founded Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IITK).
With the enthusiastic backing of President Robert Goheen ’40 *48, at various times during the 10 years of the program’s existence, Princeton had members resident on the Kanpur campus working primarily in the fields of aeronautical, civil, and computer engineering. Other disciplines were supported by shorter-term visitors who did not take up permanent residence there.
By any measure, the program was a success. The institute not only has achieved a degree of independence from governmental interference unprecedented in Indian educational institutions, but has developed into the premier technological institution in the country. Though after 44 years, few in Princeton are aware of the role the University played in KIAP, the institute remembers, and would be a strong ally in the development of any renewed ties with India. I hope they will be included.