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Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative announces first round of awards

The US Department of State announced the eight institutional partnership projects below for the first Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative awards.

Washington: In a milestone in the educational partnership between India and the United States, the Department of State is pleased to announce the eight institutional partnership projects below for the first Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative awards.

The goal of the initiative is to further strengthen, through faculty exchanges, joint research, and other collaboration, partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education in priority fields, including food security, climate change, sustainable energy, and public health.

Each project will receive an award of approximately 250,000 dollars that can be utilized over the three-year grant period to encourage mutual understanding, educational reform, and economic growth, as well as the development of junior faculty.

U.S.-led Partnerships: (1) Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Project Title: Capitalizing on the Demographic Dividend: Enhancing Talent Development Capacity for India and the U.S. in the 21st Century Partner Institution: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; (2) University of Montana Project Title: Impacts of Climate Change and Changes in Socio-Economic Structure on Traditional Agriculture and the Development of Sustainable Communities among Indigenous Populations Partner Institution: Bangalore University; (3) Cornell University Project Title: Implementing Reformed Curriculum in Emerging areas of Agriculture and Food Security in Two State Agricultural Universities of India Partner Institutions: University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut and (4)University of Michigan Project Title: The Joint Development of a Master’s Degree in Education for Health Professions Faculty in the United States and India Partner Institution: Maharashtra University of the Health Sciences.

Indian-led Partnerships: (1) Mahatma Gandhi University Project Title: An Interdisciplinary and Community Oriented Approach toward Sustainable Development Partner Institutions: Brown University, Duke University and Plymouth State University; (2) Banaras Hindu University Project Title: Paradigm Shift in Energy Scenario for the 21st Century toward Renewable Energy Sources required for both India and the U.S. Partner Institution: University of Pittsburgh; (3) Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur Project Title: International Program for Sustainable Infrastructure Development Partner Institution: Virginia Tech University and (4) Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi Project Title: Resource Building for Ecosystem and Human Health Risk Assessment with Special reference to Microbial Contamination Partner Institution: Drexel University.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama announced the Obama-Singh Initiative in November 2009 as an affirmation of their commitment to building an enhanced India-U.S. partnership in education. Each government pledged five million dollars for this endeavor, for a total of 10 million dollars.

To implement this initiative, the Governments of India and the United States established a bi-national Obama-Singh Initiative joint working group (JWG). The JWG provides the final approval for all grants awarded through the Obama-Singh Initiative. The JWG will allocate the 10 million dollars over the course of a five year period awarding 8 to 10 university partnership grants annually.

The next request for proposals for the Obama-Singh Initiative grants will be announced in July 2012.


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