Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, September 19, 2011

Law School to help develop India's infrastructure

A five-year, trillion-dollar effort by India’s government to improve its infrastructure will get a boost from a joint financial law and policy research center established last year by Michigan Law and one of India’s premier law schools.

The Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) of O.P. Jindal Global University agreed last week with India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company to develop courses, workshops, and joint research projects through the Michigan-Jindal Centre for Global Corporate and Financial Law and Policy, established by the two schools in 2010.

The center, located at O.P. Jindal Global University just outside Delhi in India’s national capital region, is dedicated to producing world-class research in its field. The infrastructure initiative will be led by Vikramaditya Khanna, U-M professor of law, and Charles Maddox of JGLS, two leading academics studying Indian corporate and financial law.

“This is another important milestone for the Michigan-Jindal Global Corporate and Financial Law and Policy Centre,” says C. Raj Kumar, vice chancellor of Jindal Global University and dean of JGLS. “It provides a unique avenue for teaching, research, training and capacity-building initiatives for the study of infrastructure law and policy.”

The deal with the Infrastructure Development Finance Co. Ltd. (IDFC) — India’s leading integrated infrastructure finance player, providing end-to-end infrastructure financing and project implementation services — puts the center in the midst of a huge development boom. IDFC has been an integral part of India’s development story since 1997, when the company was formed with the specific mandate to build the nation.

The agreement also goes two ways — as early as next month, for example, IDFC will be helping develop curriculum and lend teaching expertise for an intensive course on infrastructure development and project finance being held at JGLS. Ultimately, that work will lead to the development of a series of courses and executive workshops designed to help educate people around the world on how to contribute to the construction of India’s infrastructural backbone.

"India's infrastructure needs are large and pressing. Addressing those needs is critical to continuing the country’s impressive levels of economic growth,” says Khanna, the center's co-director. “However, there are myriad important and often complicated legal issues involved in the infrastructure field. By developing courses, research programs and events, we’ll be able to rely on the considerable expertise at Michigan, Jindal and IDFC to begin to address these important issues.”