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Obama-Singh Initiative to be used for developing faculty

A Knowledge Initiative between the US and India, which was announced during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to the US last year, will be used for developing faculty for select institutions like new IITs.



Washington: A Knowledge Initiative between
the US and India, which was announced during Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh`s visit to the US last year, will be used for
developing faculty for select institutions like new IITs.

The decision was taken at the United States-India
Strategic Dialogue today.

The Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative,
which was announced last November, will provide USD 10 million
in combined funding to increase university linkages and
support junior faculty development between US and Indian
universities.
In a joint statement after the conclusion of the
dialogue, both countries agreed that the Obama-Singh 21st
Century Knowledge Initiative will be used for developing
faculty for select institutions like new IITs.

India and the US also agreed to join hands in the
education sector through enhanced academic exchanges and
collaborations programmes, a measure aimed at strengthening
the new institutions.

The step assumes significance as India has announced
the launching of eight new IITs in the last two years. Faculty
shortage is a major problem in technical institutions like
IITs and NITs in India.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and External
Affairs Minister S M Krishna acknowledged the positive
contribution of cooperation in education and science and
technology to bilateral relations.

"They noted the enormous potential for enhancing
academic exchanges and collaboration, including through
participation of US universities in India, in the context of
the ongoing reforms and expansion of the higher education and
professional training sectors in India," the statement said.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal participated in the dialogue
and raised the issues of Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative,
collaboration for setting up of Innovation Universities,
collaboration in frontier areas of research, skill development
and Indo-US Education Council.

Both nations welcomed the steps taken towards
implementation of the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge
Initiative launched last year with the goal of increasing
university linkages and junior faculty development exchanges
between US and Indian universities.

They hailed formation of the India-US Higher Education
Forum under the auspices of the US-India Business Council.

On the issue of Afghanistan, Clinton and Krishna
reiterated their shared interest and commitment to a stable,
sovereign, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan.

They emphasised the importance of a sustained
international commitment to Afghanistan that builds local
capacities through Afghan-led initiatives.

The two leaders expressed grave concern over the recent
incidents in the US and India which they said reminded that
terrorism and violent extremism knew no boundaries and
continued to threaten global, regional and domestic security.

Recognising the importance of continued cooperation
in efforts to defeat terrorism, they reaffirmed the critical
principle that no cause or grievance justified terrorism in
any form.
"They called for swift and credible steps to eliminate
terrorist safe havens and vowed to strengthen global
consensus and legal regimes against terrorism, including by
working together at the UN toward adoption of a Comprehensive
Convention on International Terrorism that strengthens our
efforts in combating terrorism," the statement said.

The two leaders also committed to continue working
together to achieve an early start of negotiations on a
multilateral, non-discriminatory and internationally and
effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty at the
Conference on Disarmament.

"In addition to advancing global security and
stability, both recognised that the two countries had enormous
opportunities to deepen their cooperation in trade and
investment, science and technology, infrastructure
investment, environmental sustainability, climate change
mitigation, energy security, education, agriculture, food
security, healthcare and empowerment of people," the statement
said.

The two sides plan to hold the next Strategic Dialogue in
New Delhi in the first half of 2011.

PTI

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