The India Center at UCF Honors Distinguished Professor

Anil Deshpande, Narsingh Deo, Michael Johnson and Sharad Mehta

The India Center at UCF hosted an event to honor the retirement of Narsingh Deo, Ph.D., Charles N. Millican Eminent Scholar’s Chair in Computer Science and Director of the Center for Parallel Computation in the College of Computer Science and Engineering. The evening of celebration was made possible by Sharad Mehta, Anil Deshpande and Ajit Nana.

Mehta and Deshpande, active members of the Orlando Indian community, honored Deo for his contributions to the Indian community and his accomplishments at UCF. The two major supporters of the India Center used the opportunity to also strengthen the connection between the Orlando Indian-American community and the India Center, which has as its mission to become a preeminent center.

“We held this event to introduce the India Center to the Indian community,” Mehta said. “We haven’t opened a formal dialogue yet, and the last 18 months with the India Center housed in the College of Sciences, we got a nice boost. We want to get more people engaged.”

About 70 guests from the community attended and enjoyed a presentation on Deo’s work and influence at UCF and across Orlando. From connecting with others who had left India, to his love of poetry and literature, Deo’s colleagues and friends celebrated his passion, contributions and accomplishments. The Dean of the College of Sciences, Michael Johnson, Ph.D., ended the night with a presentation on the India Center.


What began as an initiative in 2007, which brought speakers, symposiums and scholarships, is now looking to raise funds for an endowed chair and to expand its scope and activities. These include:

  • Organize events on topics of mutual India-U.S. interest, which address significant opportunities or problems and that are designed to attract potential partners from both countries.
  • Attract prominent scholars who study India’s role in the world today, and who will help create and perpetuate a new body of India-centric scholars.
  • Create additional India-centered courses at the university, leading to a minor in India Studies.
  • Play an important role in the Central Florida Indian community, bringing community members into partnership-creating events and into cultural activities that bring together the community with university faculty and students interested in India.

In his comments, Johnson noted the significance of enhancing our understanding of India.

“I was an American student in the 1960’s and 70’s. As an American student, I had a narrow view of the world and a lack of knowledge of India’s role in it,” Johnson said. “The depth of India’s history, some of the earliest civilizations and writing, the rich tapestry of India’s cultural and religious traditions, the intellectual legacy passed on from the deep past, are now well understood.”

The College of Sciences was pleased to present a vision of the potential of the India Center during the evening. Kerstin Hamann, Ph.D., Pegasus Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department, where the India Center resides, says India is increasing in global significance.

“It is important for UCF to expand the mission and activities of our India Center and promote a greater understanding of India at UCF, in Orlando, and the nation,” she said. “We are proud to have the India Center at UCF and look forward to the next steps in moving it towards a preeminent India Center in the country.”

Learn how you can help the India Center at UCF become a preeminent center.

Comments are closed.