The Indian Institutes of Technology, in particular, and the Indian-American community, in general, came in for impassioned praise from the US Congress -- the first time the US Congress has honoured a foreign university in this manner -- for their significant contributions to society in every profession and discipline.
The US Congress passed House Resolution 227 -- introduced by Congressman Tom Davis and co-sponsored by Congressman Bobby Jindal -- praising the stellar work done by IIT-ians in all walks of life.
Davis said that the United States must take leaf out of India's book and devise a strategy to focus on and improve studies in math and sciences.
Experts say that this rare recognition will help IITs solicit US government grants and promote industry collaboration with the IITs for sponsored research and faculty/student exchange programmes.
The Congressional debate ran live on CSPAN with speeches by several Congressmen on the IITs, and when the speaker brought it to vote, it was passed unanimously.
Rep. Joseph Crowley, a Democrat from New York and the chief deputy whip, submitted a statement to the congressional record in support of House Resolution 227.
In a statement, Crowley said: "As the former co-chair of the Caucus on India and Indian-Americans and the representative of one of the largest concentrations of Indian-Americans in the United States, I have seen first hand the contributions my friends from India have made."
He said the IITs have for long groomed fine minds that have gone on to achieve incredible success in India and overseas.
The full text of House Resolution 227 is given hereunder:
In the House of Representatives, US,
April 26, 2005.
Whereas the United States is deeply enriched by its Indian-American residents;
Whereas the Indian-American community and the graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) in the United States have made valuable and significant contributions to society in every profession and discipline; and
Whereas IIT graduates are highly committed and dedicated to research, innovation, and promotion of trade and international cooperation between India and the United States: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) recognizes the valuable and significant contributions of Indian-Americans to American society;
(2) honors the economic innovation attributable to graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology; and
(3) urges all Americans to recognize the contributions of Indian-Americans and have a greater appreciation of the role Indian-Americans have played in helping to advance and enrich American society.
This resolution was passed in the context of the Global PanIIT Alumni Conference, an event which is to be held on May 20-22, 2005 in the metro Washington DC area. The Web site to visit for all information and to register is http://www.iit2005.org/.