Washington: One of America's top research institutions, the University of South Florida's World Centre for India Studies, is introducing an undergraduate certificate in India studies beginning end-August.

Offering a broad curriculum that focuses on history, geography, society, politics, language,  culture, philosophy and religion in India, the certificate is designed to  give students an informative introduction to Indian society, according to a  university release.

One of the highlights of the certificate is a study abroad component. Students can choose to substitute coursework with one of many study abroad programmes to India for six credits.

American students are already showing an interest in the programme, said Gurleen Grewal, Director of the Centre for India Studies.

"We want students to come away with a really strong foundation on what makes contemporary India what it is today.

"Associate Vice President for Global Academic Programmes Roger Brindley said it's important to add an academic component to a culture that is otherwise well-recognized on campus."

The purpose of the certificate is to bring academic recognition to the rich heritage of the Indian culture, adding an academic emphasis to the world's largest democracy and a critical partner of the United States," he said.

"We expect this certificate will intrigue USF students and will be a transformative experience."

The latest ranking by the US National Science Foundation places the Tampa, Florida, based institution in the elite top-50 of American research Universities.The University’s College of Business already has an India-focused study abroad programme for its MIS (Management Information Systems) students who study at the Infosys campus in Mysore for about three weeks every summer.

Requirements and details about the undergraduate certificate in India Studies can be found at http://global.usf.edu/indiastudies/certificate.php.

(Agencies)

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