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Cummins India signs pact with Purdue University

Sudha Menon

Pune , July 13

DIESEL engine technology and power major Cummins India has swung an academic coup with the group having entered into an agreement with the Indianapolis-based Purdue University for a joint programme which will explore and expand horizons in engineering studies and research with Cummin's exclusively for girls of College of Engineering in Pune.

For the uninitiated, Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, is an alumni of the University which dates back to 1869.

Cummins India is also following this up with another major stride in its research programme by setting up a Diesel Engine laboratory at IIT, Mumbai, a formal announcement of which is expected to be made in the coming fortnight, Mr Sanjay Jagtap, Cummins Diesel India Foundation, told Business Line when contacted.

Mr Japtap said the agreement with Purdue University envisages a mutual student exchange programme which would allow them to visit the host campus for both academic work, research and also for furthering cross-cultural experiences.

"Purdue is interested in India's large research oriented talent pool for its future projects. For our students it is a great opportunity to go there on fellowships which will allow them to pursue critical research. We also get the benefit of their highly-talented researchers from there, who will do projects with select companies here," he said.

Vinita Apte, a computer science graduate from Cummins College of Engineering will be the first student to go to Purdue on a full scholarship to pursue her MS as part of the new programme.

Purdue University's Director and a team of key people are expected to arrive here in the near future for exploring the various levels at which the agreement will function.

The University has an annual budget of an estimated $400 million, of which a significant portion comes from funded research projects. Cummins Inc, the parent company already has an established relationship with the university where it currently has a research lab.

Four hundred women engineers pass out of the Cummin's Engineering College every year. Meanwhile, work on Cummins India's diesel engine laboratory at IIT, Mumbai has already commenced and is expected to be complete by December this year, Mr Jagtap said adding that the laboratory is expected to be functional by the next academic year.

In addition to funding the project, the group will also provide a diesel engine and technical support along with visiting engineers from the company who will guide research students on the site.

"We have an on-going research programme in diesel engines and this project will allow us to pursue research through independent researchers at IIT. In addition to making strides in business, the laboratory will also help take us nearer to the campus and attract the best talent there is available there," Mr Jagtap said.

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