The University of Birmingham explains the reasons behind setting up a new India Institute. Any university that claims to be world-class - as we at the University of Birmingham, in the world's top 100 universities, do - cannot overlook India. It is the world′s largest democracy: India ensures that one-sixth of humanity can cast their votes regularly in free and fair elections. It is a rising economic powerhouse. And it is one of the most important regional powers in Asia. By 2025, it will have the world's largest population; by 2050, the world's largest economy. Our university's relationship with India is a long one. We were founded in 1900 and welcomed our first students from India in 1909. In over 100 years since then, we have provided education for more than 2,000 Indian students, including the former Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth and acclaimed writer and critic, the late Dr U.R. Ananthamurthy, recipient of the Jnanpith and Padma Bhushan awards. And we have worked with our Indian partners to tackle some of the challenges that face our two countries, and the rest of the globe, in the 21st century.