The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has become the first institution in the country to be awarded the Obama-Singh 21st century Knowledge Initiative (OSKI) grant of $2,50,000 by the US.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama had signed the OSKI accord in 2010 to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions.
The TISS will host a two-day conference on Friday and Saturday in partnership with the Rutgers University of New Jersey in the US on ‘enhancing Indian higher education policy and practice in the federal context.’
“This will formally flag off the partnership between the two varsities,” said professor B Venkatesh Kumar of the centre for public policy and governance at TISS, who is also an OSKI coordinator.
“India will soon be home to the largest number of youth in any single country in the world. We need to capitalise on this demographic dividend by identifying talent and scaling it up. This is where we see the role of the OSKI.”
TISS director Dr S Parsurman said: “In this regard, vocationalisation of secondary schooling is an important step to increase the relevance of education and in helping students prepare for effective participation in any area of work.”
One of the main facets of the partnership is to create a new national and vocational multi-skill school in the country that will train about one million people each year.