With a law on the anvil to allow operation of foreign education providers in India, a top consortium of research institutions from the US has evinced interest in collaborating with Indian universities.
A delegation of Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which represents America's top universities, visited India this week and met HRD minister Kapil Sibal to discuss areas of collaboration and institutional linkages.
The CIC is a consortium comprising universities of Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State University, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, Purdue and Wisconsin-Madison.
"We have come for discussion on collaboration on research and academic programmes. We are a consortium of research universities and we are together for over 50 years. We do lots of things together and we can collaborate with Indian institutions," Associate Director, Technology Collaboration for CIC, Keren Partlow told PTI.
She said the delegation was on a fact-finding mission to explore the areas of collaboration. This was the first meeting of the CIC delegation with Sibal.
"The minister is open to hear specific ideas like what sort of engagement we would like to have in India. We will prepare a detailed plan in this direction and come again," Partlow, who led the delegation, said.
The CIC is known for quality research and its advanced research laboratories. Through collaboration, the CIC members increase teaching, learning and research opportunities.
These universities conduct funded research of $6.4 billion every year while the funded research of Ivy League universities and the University of California are pegged at $3.27 billion and $4.38 billion respectively.
India is interested in institutional linkages between CIC institutions and universities here. This will help Indian universities take advantage of the high quality research facilities of CIC member institutions, a HRD ministry official said.
The CIC universities enrol nearly three lakh under-graduate and 76,000 post-graduate students every year and deliver doctoral programmes in 147 areas of study.
University of Illinois, a member of CIC, had earlier helped India set up IIT Kharagpur and GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology.
The visit of CIC comes at a time when the government is likely to introduce the Foreign Educational Institution(Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010 in Parliament this month.
The Cabinet approved the bill which lays down norms for allowing entry and operation of foreign education providers in India.
Nearly 50 foreign institutions, including Boston, Yale and Duke University, have evinced interest in either setting up campuses or collaborate on research and academic programmes.
The CIC delegation also met representatives of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and discussed facilitating more research students.
The delegation evinced interest in sending students for pursuing studies in Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi and other Indian languages.
The delegation comprised Wolfgang Schloer from University Illinois, Will Glover from University Michigan, Molly Portz from University of Minnessota, Ken Shapiro and Aseem Ansari from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Terry Webb from Madison Area Technical College and Partlow.