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Penn Law signs MOU with National Law School of India University

September 12, 2012

University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts and Vice Chancellor and Professor Dr. R. Venkata Rao of the National Law School of India University in Bangalore have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will serve to further Penn Law’s engagement with leading legal academics and practitioners in that country.

Dean Fitts traveled to India this summer to sign the MOU, which provides for an exchange of students between Penn Law and NLS, India’s most prestigious law school, and establishes a foundation for collaborative research and other institutional initiatives.  The exchange will commence in fall 2013. 

“India is a key country for global economic development and legal activity,” said Fitts. “It is vital for Penn Law and our students to engage with the legal system there now. Our international programs have expanded considerably in recent years, and we are offering students opportunities around the globe. But it is especially important that we invest in deepening our expertise in places like India and China if we are truly going to be a global law school in the 21st century.” 

Fitts led a delegation that included six Penn Law faculty members and Associate Dean for International Programs Amy Gadsden.  The faculty members participated in a high-level roundtable on patent and copyright law issues that brought together leading figures in this area from academia, government and the private sector.

“Indian patent and copyright issues are inextricably linked to the global debate in these areas,” said Law School Professor Shyam Balganesh. “The Penn Law-NLS co-sponsored roundtable allowed for unprecedented discussion of some of the most cutting-edge concerns, such as control over data resulting from clinical trials for new drugs, and the optimal structuring of limitations and exceptions to Indian and U.S. copyright law.” 

Fitts also traveled to Delhi where he met with senior government leaders including Shri P. Chidambaram, who stepped into the role of finance minister in July, Montek Singh Ahluwahlia, Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission, Salman Kurshid, the Indian Minister for Law and Justice, and Kapil Sibal, the Minister for Human Resource Development, among others.   

Penn Law is well positioned to be a leader in developing advanced study of Indian law. Professor Balganesh, an expert on property law with deep comparative knowledge of both Indian and American law, is pioneering new curricular initiatives on Indian law. He will teach the 2012-13 Global Research Seminar, which examines the role of private law in nation-building efforts and economic growth in India. 

Professor Balganesh and the seminar students will travel to India in March 2013 to meet with senior officials, lawyers and private sector leaders who are shaping developments in private law.  In 2011, Penn Law hosted Dr. KP Krishnan, the secretary to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, and one of India’s top experts on financial regulation as a Bok Professor. Also, on September 27, Penn Law will host the 20th anniversary conference for the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Advanced Study of India.