Friends of India Network

The Friends of India Network was established in 2003 to provide a forum for faculty and staff at Texas A&M University to foster awareness within the academic community of a range of issues and concerns relevant to India and Indian-Americans on the TAMU campus. The network also seeks to enhance members’ professional development opportunities through networking and informal mentoring of students, staff and faculty, and to facilitate communication with other interested individuals and organizations in the university and the local community. Membership is free and open to any interested staff or faculty member of Texas A&M University.

History of Friends of India Network (FIN)

FIN was started in 2003 to serve as a forum for the faculty and staff to network, share and disseminate information on India and India-related matters. It was subsequently recognized as one of the official faculty networks by the Office of the Dean of Faculties. Over the past several years, FIN has hosted talks from the Office of the Consul General of India, Houston, and sponsored numerous activities on campus to promote information on India related to science and technology, the political system, and culture. In addition, we have hosted what has now become a tradition, the annual spring picnic for the Indian community in the BCS area.

Since its inception, volunteers have provided leadership by serving as president for a period of 3 years, including N. K. Anand (founding president, Engineering), Manjt Yadav (Business), A. L. N. Reddy (Engineering), Chandrika Rajagopal (Center for Teaching Excellence), Vinod Srinivasan (Architecture), Srividya Ramasubramanian (Liberal Arts), and Jayson Beaster-Jones (Liberal Arts). Bhimu Patil (Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center, Department of Horticultural Sciences) is the current President.

Past committee members have included Jyotsna Vaid (Liberal Arts), Sharada Vadali (TTI) and Ranjita Misra (Education). Recently, the committee was expanded to include representatives from colleges, campus organizations and TAMU System agencies-Executive committee in 2011-2014 include: Vijay Singh and Bhimu Patil (Agriculture), Arvind Mahajan (Business), Kishore Gawande (Bush School), Maltish Joshi (Education), Sunil Chirayath (Engineering), R Saravanan (Geosciences), Srividya Ramasubramanian (Liberal Arts), Bani Mallick (Science), and Chandrika Rajagopal (Center for Teaching Excellence).

2015-2018 Executive Committee Members


July 2015

Venky Shankar, Professor of Marketing & Coleman Chair in Marketing and Director of Research, Center for Retailing Studies, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, has been selected as Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP). IIT-KGP is the oldest of the IITs and is consistently ranked among the Top 3 engineering colleges in India. Prominent Distinguished Alumni of IIT-KGP include Arvind Kejriwal (Chief Minister, Delhi), Dr. Pradeep Khosla (Chancellor-University of California, San Diego), Arun Sarin (Former Chairman and CEO, Vodafone), Vinod Gupta (Founder and Former CEO and Chairman of infoGroup), Dr. Anand Deshpande (Founder and CEO, Persistent Systems), and Dr. Prabhakant Sinha (Founder, ZS Associates).

In 2013, Venky Shankar was conferred the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC). IIMC was recently ranked among the Top 3 international business schools by Financial Times. Notable alumni of IIMC include Indra Nooyi (Chairperson and CEO, PepsiCo), Dr. Krishna Palepu (Harvard Business School), Dr. Mohan Sawhney (Kellogg School, Northwestern University), and Ajit Balakrishnan (Founder and CEO,

Dr. Sheela Anthreya

Liberal Arts, Anthropology

Dr. Nandini Bhattacharya

Liberal Arts, English

Dr. Jayson Beaster-Jones

Liberal Arts, Performance Studies, Music Program

Dr. Kishore Gawande

Bush School of Government

Dr. Julian Gaspar

Mays Business School, Center for International Business Studies

Dr. Vikram Kinra

College of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Arvind Mahajan

Mays Business School, Department of Finance

Dr. Rupak Mahapatra

Science, Department of Physics

Dr. Ranjita Misra

Education and Human Development, Health and Kinesiology

Dr. Kathleen O’Reilly

Geosciences, Geography

Dr. Bhimu Patil

Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas Agrilife Research

Dr. Srividya Ramasubramanian

Liberal Arts, Communication

Dr. Narasimha Reddy

College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Arun Srinivasa

College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Rajan Varadarajan

Other, Marketing

Dr. Vijay S. Venkatraj

Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences


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