Friday, October 03, 2014

1,000 US academics to teach in Indian universities

After planning to rope in scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to take classes in schools and colleges, India is now looking at American academics for teaching in different Indian universities.

The idea is to invite and host up to 1,000 American academics every year to teach in centrally-recognized Indian universities. The academics - mainly from the field of science and innovations -- may visit India at their convenience.

The US agreed to the proposal during the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday.

The India-US joint statement, issued after the meeting, said, "The President (Obama) welcomed India's proposal to establish the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN or knowledge) under which India would invite and host up to 1,000 American academics each year to teach in centrally-recognized Indian universities, at their convenience."

Referring to the proposal, officials said the modalities to invite US academics and assign them specific Indian university for teaching on short-term basis will be worked out by the human resource development ministry in consultation with the science and technology ministry that has recently come out with a similar plan to use domestic talent for the same task.

"Purpose of such initiative is to expose Indian students to the experience and expertise of the best of Indian scientists and US academicians," said an official.

The science and technology ministry had last month made it mandatory for over 5,000 scientists, working in different central agencies including the country's premier R&D body CSIR, to undertake 12 hours of lecture classes in an academic year in public-funded schools and colleges across the country.

The Indo-US joint statement has identified many other areas where both the countries would cooperate with each other in the field of science and expand their joint activities in "innovative technology".

It said, "The leaders (Modi-Obama) committed to partner on the 'Digital India' initiative, with the goal of enhancing digital infrastructure, deploying e-governance and e-services, promoting industry collaboration, and digitally empowering India's citizens. They also agreed in principle to initiate cooperative activities to increase capacity in cancer research and patient care delivery, including by developing collaborative programs for and with India's upcoming AIIMS-National Cancer Institute."

Besides, the US will, for the first time, be a partner country at India's annual Technology Summit next month. In addition, both the countries also committed to convene the ninth 'High Technology Cooperation Group' and plan to launch new partnerships to "source and scale innovation for the benefit of citizens".

Source: The Times of India, October 3, 2014

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