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MIT Trained Swadeshi: MIT and Indian Nationalism, 1880-1947

Prof. Ross Bassett


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Date: 9th October, 2009

Venue: Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai

Timing: 6.00 pm


 About the Speaker

Ross Bassett is an Associate Professor, Department of History, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina. He graduated in Electrical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania and pursued his post-graduation in the subject of history from Cornell University. After completing his Ph. D in history of science from Princeton University, he joined the history department of North Carolina University as Assistant Professor. His research interests are history of science and technology.


Prof. Bassett has a large number of monographs and papers published in international journals, to his credit, touching upon different aspects of history including history of electronics, history of technology, development of technology and trade, exchange of knowledge and technology between America and India etc. He is presently working on a book-length project titled 'Engineering India, Engineering America, Engineering World: Indians at MIT and beyond.' He is also a Director of Benjamin Franklin Scholars Programme of North Carolina State University, Co-Coordinator of the Society for the History of technology and a special advisor for Archives Project of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.


Synopsis of the talk

Since 1947, graduates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology have played an important role in Indian business, technology, and architecture. This talk will discuss a small cohort of Indians who attended MIT before independence. This group, mainly from Western India, had several members who were closely connected to Mahatma Gandhi. For some, attending MIT was a nationalist act, a way of building a technological nation, free of British dominance. In the last decade before independence, Indian MIT graduates occupied increasingly important roles in Indian technology and business, foreshadowing the role Indian MIT graduates would play in independent India.


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