Wednesday, September 30, 2009

India keen on tie-ups with leading global universities

The Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) is keen to tie up with the worlds leading universities to ensure that its innovation universities are a class apart from the pack. During his visit to the US in late October, the minister for human resource development Kapil Sibal would like to firm up MoUs with leading US universities to collaborate with the proposed innovation universities. Among the American universities that are being approached are Yale, Standford and MIT. The government plans to set up 14 innovation universities over the next few years.

The government proposes to set up these universities as global centres of innovation and would like to draw on the talent and expertise of leading universities. We are looking for a collaboration for two or three of the innovation universities, a senior ministry official said. India has had a history of collaborating with leading international universities to set up her own world class institutions. The Iits and Iims were set up in collaboration and partnership with leading international institutes. The nature of the partnership will be different. We are better equipped now than we were when the IITs were set up, the official said. The exact nature of the partnership is still being worked out.

Mr Sibal, who will be travelling to the US ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs state visit in November, will leading a delegation to put in place the India-US Education Council. As part of the preparation, last week Mr Sibal met with Timothy Roemer, the US Ambassador to India. Sources said that discussions centred on chartered schools, vocational education options and twinning programmes at the higher education level.

The human resource development minister has been actively seeking tie-up partnerships with foreign education institutions. Earlier this month, possible areas of collaboration were discussed by UKs trade and investment minister Mervyn Davies and Mr Sibal. The British minister had indicated teacher training as one of the possible areas of collaboration.

At last weeks meeting Mr Sibal and Mr Roemer are understood to have also discussed the legislation that would permit foreign education institutions and universities to set up campus in India. A legislative proposal detailing out the legal and regulatory framework for foreign education providers is pending with the Cabinet Secretariat for approval by the Cabinet. The ministry would like the Bill to be introduced in Parliament during the winter session, so that it can be in place by the next academic session.

Source: The Economic Times

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