Vineeta Rai ’66, came to Brandeis as a Wien Scholar, and remembers with fondness the vibrant international flavor on the Brandeis campus even during that era. When Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came to campus in 1965, Vineeta was one of those privileged to greet here. (67 Wien Scholars have come to Brandeis from India, more than from any other country.)
She went from Brandeis into a distinguished career in public service herself, serving in posts in revenue and taxation, housing and family welfare, and urban development at both the state and the national level. Most recently she was one of the leaders of a national commission focused on administrative reform, which released a 15-volume report in May 2009.
Vineeta believes that Brandeis has only begun to tap its potential in India, at a time when larger numbers of young people are hungering for a quality education, and the Indian higher education system cannot yet handle the numbers. She’s skeptical about distance education programs – nothing, she says, can substitute for the vital experience of the Brandeis campus community.
Our meeting in our hotel with Vineeta is just a start. She will be seeing us later in the week, and helping Brandeis forge connections among leaders in the government.