IITs and GIAN gain with India, US education-cooperation agreement

NEW DELHI: Education finds a small but significant place in the India-US joint statement.

As reported earlier, for the second time the HRD ministry's initiative of creating a Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) finds mention in the text. During PM Narendra Modi's visit to the US in September, GIAN was referred to as an important step forward in cooperation in education.

The other highlight is the US decision to extend knowledge partnership for supporting the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IIT-GN). A joint declaration of intent has already been signed between the HRD ministry and USAID. The partnership will be for strengthening research and entrepreneurship capabilities.

Ministry officials said the model of cooperation will be like the one done between US and India when IIT-Kanpur was set up. In case of IIT-GN, India is not seeking financial help. But, as in the case of IIT-Kanpur, USAID will help create a consortium that will draw the best minds from US universities to help IIT-GN that was established during the UPA rule. Cooperation is likely to be extended to other IITs in future.

In case of GIAN, 1,000 US scholars of both science and humanities will be coming to India to teach in central government-funded institutions like central universities, IITs, IIMs and others. The HRD ministry is making the scheme attractive both in terms of remuneration and facilities. As of now, the ministry will be spending roughly Rs 8 lakh per teacher for one semester. This includes remuneration as well as cost of stay.
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