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Several joint ventures in offing between India, and US varsities

By A Staff Reporter

Several universities in United States of America would shortly acquire space in leading Indian universities campuses to jointly impart higher education skills as soon as Foreign University Bill is passed by Indian Parliament, says Ms. Hilda Lockhart, Director International Development, State of Alabama of United States. This while the Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal tabled the Foreign Education Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010, in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Meanwhile, delivering the keynote address at a meeting organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) that hosted a 30-member business delegation of the State of Alabama from the US, in the Capital recently, Ms Lockhart disclosed that talks have begun between the authorities of universities of the US and those of India for joint collaboration at higher education levels.

She said that apart from higher education, the collaboration will expand to other areas such as aerospace, healthcare, automobile, agriculture and civil aviation. The US is hopeful that the Foreign University Bill would be passed by the Indian government as soon as possible to facilitate arrangements for making the joint ventures between the Universities of the US and India in which the US would be able to transfer all its know-how to its counterpart in India, pointed out Ms. Lockhart, adding that this will prevent brain-drain from India as a large number of its students immigrate towards the US for attaining higher education.

With the passing of Foreign University Bill, higher education would be available in India with US know-how at a much cheaper price and Indian students would acquire education skills of world standard, said Ms. Lockhart.

The other areas of cooperation would include healthcare, civil aviation, aerospace and agriculture as Alabama has state-of-the-art technology in these areas for which Indian companies are seeking joint venture arrangements with its industry, said the Director International Development, State of Alabama, US.

Referring to export potential of State of Alabama to India, Ms. Lockhart pointed out that it exported chemical, engineering and other related products to India worth $161 million in fiscal 2009-10. The same could register an increase of minimum 15-20 per cent and rise to levels of over $200 million by end of March 2011, she added.

The Governor of State of Alabama would shortly visit India and initiate talks and dialogues with authorities of Indian universities so that campuses are able to accommodate US faculties in them and provide higher education to students through collaborative approach made out of joint venture arrangements, disclosed Ms. Lockhart.

In his welcome address, Education Committee Chairman of ASSOCHAM, Mr. Vinay Rai hoped that the Foreign University Education Bill would become enactment after the current budget session is over and facilitate joint venture arrangements in higher education between India and the US.

ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D S Rawat in his remarks said that US, which is the largest market for India would also turn out to be a great source of knowledge for India and it’s students as soon as the Foreign University Bill is passed and enacted. He said that two more areas would open up for collaboration between India and USA after recent bilateral initiatives undertaken by administration of US and India and that will improve collaborative approach in higher education and close tie-ups on nuclear energy front.