A researcher traces age-old ties between Oxford and India and Oxford′s role in enhancing UK-India relations. The Oxford India Society strives to build on an extensive history of engagement between Oxford and India. Ever since 1579, when Father Thomas Stephens of the University of Oxford's New College became the first chronicled Englishman to visit India. Since then, relations have grown leaps and bounds, highlighted by the conception of the Boden Chair in Sanskrit in 1832 and the advent of Oxford's first Indian students in 1871. In 1912, an Indian branch of the Oxford University Press was also established. Today, the University of Oxford is a thriving environment for areas of Indian study such as language, religion, literature, history, public health and sustainable development, at both an undergraduate and graduate level. The University of Oxford's Bodleian Indian Institute library contains over 100,000 volumes of literature and the largest collection of Sanskrit manuscripts outside of India. There are currently approximately 386 Indian students studying a wide range of subjects at Oxford, which is an increase of almost 50 per cent since 2006. There are presently 16 Indian states in which Oxford has active collaborations, 1,817 Oxford alumni in India and 144 Indian academic staff. These statistics reflect the depth of Oxford-India relations and the mounting importance of affiliating with India for the University of Oxford. There are several notable distinguished Indian academics that have been based at Oxford including Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Former President of India; Amartya Sen, a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics; and C.N.R. Rao, Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the current Prime Minister of India. Furthermore, Oxford has a renowned history of educating some of the most influential Indian public figures such as Indira Gandhi, India's first female Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India between 2004-2014 and Cornelia Sorabji, India's first female lawyer.