Dr. Gauri Mahulikar’s Visit to Pace University, New York City

Pace University is one of the leading private universities in New York City.  Dr. Gauri Mahulikar was invited to speak there by Dr. P V Viswanath, Professor of Finance in its Lubin School of Business.  Viswanath had visited Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth last year and knew Gauriji from that visit.  He invited her enthusiastically and arranged a talk and meetings with several prominent educators at Pace.  Her visit there on Thursday, September 19 was packed with several hours of meetings as well as a talk to academicians in the Lubin School of Business.

Prof Viswanath first arranged a meeting for Mahulikar with Dr. John Meletiadis, Assistant Dean, Center for Global Business Programs. Barry L. Stinson, Assistant Vice President, Pace International also joined the meeting. John Meletiadis, himself Greek, asked Gauriji what made her study Greek dramas. She was impressed at his sincerity in going through her profile before their meeting. They talked for almost an hour about Study Abroad possibilities at CVV. Meletiadis shared that they are already having conversations with some Indian universities like NMIMS, Mumbai, Delhi University, and Jindal University, and he said they are keen to establish contacts with CVV also.  Mahulikar suggested that for their management and commerce students, CVV offers relevant minor courses. The students could come in the first or second week of January when the weather in Kerala would be very pleasant.[Prof. Viswanath is currently in touch with two CVV faculty, Sushree and Vinayak about possible collaboration on a research paper on Arthasastra.]

Gauriji’s next meeting was with a finance Professor, Dr. Mingming Zhou (originally from China), recently hired at Pace. They had a fruitful discussion and decided to stay in touch to discuss possible joint research on Indo-Chinese cultural ties, education, and values.

Then Viswanath introduced Mahulikar to the President of Pace University, Dr. Marvin Krislov. He first asked her if she had received any gift from Pace, to which she replied that given an opportunity to visit Pace and give a lecture to their faculty was more than any gift. He simply liked this answer and gave her a hug. Later he presented her with a gift of a Pace U. writing pad, pen and pencils in a small bag. They chatted for some time, during which President Kroslov shared that he loves India and has visited Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. He is visiting India in November. Prof Mahulikar invited him to come to CVV. He also was proactive for joint projects, and students studying abroad. He even suggested that Pace and CVV could offer joint degrees. Prof Mahulikar replied that this is worth looking into, once CVV has NAAC accreditation. In the meantime, she encouraged working on summer courses for the students, which he said they will be able to do.

After visiting President Krislov, Prof Mahulikar gave her presentation on “Taxation in Ancient India–Arthashastra –with Current Taxation Practices.” The audience was entirely faculty members, except one student. It was a small group of 12 people and was very well received, followed by a lively discussion. In particular, there was interest in Prof. Mahulikar’s comments regarding the possibility of removing a king if he did not perform his duties appropriately.  Another matter that attracted some interest was the exclusion of booty from conquest in the list of revenue sources.

Following the talk, Prof. Mahulikar met with Prof James Reich, the faculty of Religious Studies and Indology. Prof. Zhou also joined them. James is a very knowledgeable scholar, and they plan to stay in touch and possibly collaborate on a joint paper.

At 4.30 Prof Viswanath took Mahulikar to meet Dr. Philip Cohen, Professor of Taxation and Chair for Undergraduate Program, who had attended her talk on Ancient Indian taxation. They met briefly, and then Mahulikar finished her visit to Pace University with a meeting with Dr. Joseph Tse Lee, Director, Confucius Institute and Professor, History as well as Co-Director, BA Program in Global Asia Studies, Dyson College of Arts and sciences.

They spent an hour talking about the possibility of Study Abroad at CVV.  Dr. Lee was very enthusiastic at the idea of his students studying at CVV for some elective/minor.   Global Asia Program requires study of South Asia and Oriental studies. Prof Mahulikar told him about the Indian Knowledge Systems as well as the foundation courses at CVV. In addition, CVV could educate their students in Indian art and philosophy along with spirituality.  Mahulikar was very optimistic about future Confucius Institute’s interaction with CVV.

All in all, it was an extremely productive visit, and Mahulikar expressed her appreciation to Prof. Viswanath for organizing such a worthwhile visit.