US universities welcomed for joint ventures: PM
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 09:16
Zeenews Bureau

Washington: A day before India and the US unveil an ambitious initiative on education as part of their next phase of strategic partnership, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for scaling up the cooperation between Indian and American university systems.

"We must work harder to strengthen the university system. We have plans to set up 40 new universities. I see enormous opportunities for the university systems of India and the US to work together," Manmohan Singh said after addressing top Indian and American businessmen at the US Chamber of Commerce.

The Prime Minister singled out the deficiency in the quality and quantity of teachers in India as a problem area where enhanced links with America can help.

Singh said his government was working on a major plan to expand education system for which 40 universities, including IITs and IIMs, would be set up.

"It goes without saying that human resource development is probably the most critical component of our development aspirations," he said.

"Our biggest problem in expanding our educations system particularly at the higher education level is the deficiency in the quantity and quality of qualified teachers," he said in response to a question.

"We believe that with joint ventures with their US counterpart, this deficiency can be removed," Singh added.

"We look forward to more intensified cooperation between Indian and American university systems," Manmohan Singh stressed in response to a question by Rajat Gupta, who broke the ceiling by becoming the first expatriate managing director of multi-national consultancy McKinsey and Company nearly two decades ago.

The invitation to American varsities assumes significance as the Indian government is set to enact a legislation that will allow entry of foreign universities in the country.

The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill is ready for introduction in the Parliament.

Looking beyond the transforming nuclear deal, India and the US are set to unveil the next phase of their strategic partnership by enhancing cooperation in areas ranging from agriculture and education to science and technology, green technologies and health.

A Singh-Obama Knowledge Initiative - a partnership that will encompass university education, scholarship, technology and knowledge economy and enhance education linkages will be announced after the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama Tuesday.

Agency inputs

First Published: Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 09:16

Tag: EducationUS
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