UK-INDIA, 2016 -Year of Education, Research and Innovation Launched

Smt Smriti Irani
Smt Smriti Irani

India and United Kingdom launched a joint initiative “2016: UK-INDIA Year of Education and Research” in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani highlighted the importance of mobility of students and faculty and expressed hope that, under the GIAN Program, more UK academicians would be able to come to India in 2016. She expressed hope that areas of mutual interest in research could be picked up out of the ten research priority areas under IMPRINT (IMPacting Research Innovation and Technology). The Minister said that she would like to see partnerships and interaction among school students of India and UK, esp. children in Government schools, like Navoday Vidyalays.

Secretary of State, Business Innovation and Skillls, United Kingdom, Mr. Sajid Javid, in his statement, said that he looked forward to launch of the UKIERI-III which could build upon good work already done under earlier phases of UKIERI. He anticipated that more than 100 academicians from UK would be coming under GIAN over next two years. Under the UK Generation India program, they would be looking forward to send 25,000 UK students to India during the next 5 (five) years.

It is worthwhile to mention that during the visit of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, to the United Kingdom last month, it was jointly announced by both the Prime Ministers that 2016 would be the UK-India Year of Education, Science and Research. On its part, Ministry of Human Resource Development carried out a review of current cooperation, and a process of identification of possible and potential areas of activity under the Year of Education, Research and Innovation. Secretary of State of the United Kingdom Mr. Sajid Javid and Mr. Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science visited India.

The third phase of UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI-III), with higher budgetary allocation of 3 million GBP per year from each side, will commence on 1st April 2016. UKIERI-III will provide a basic framework for the bilateral cooperation between India and UK over the next 5 years. It will focus on leadership and faculty development, integration of skills in the education system, e-partnership & research incubation, and enhancing mobility.

Over the next year, UK and India intend to deepen their bilateral relationship across education, research & innovation. With this objective, both countries will undertake and support new initiatives. India and UK aim to create a professional network of academicians and work towards promoting research and teaching. India will look forward to more UK academicians coming to Indian institutions to teach courses under the recently launched GIAN (Global Initiative of Academic Networks). In partnership between UK providers and community colleges and polytechnics of India, blended learning courses will be developed to increase employability, with focus on manufacturing and service sectors, to meet the requirements of “Make in India”.

The approach in research will be inter-disciplinary cutting across various Ministries of Government of India. United Kingdom will be the partner country for the “Technology Summit 2016” to be organized jointly by the Department of Science and Technology and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on 24th-26th October, 2016 in New Delhi.

The emphasis from both the sides would be on increased mobility of students and faculty. While the Ranking Framework of Indian institutions will provide a mechanism to UK students to get an idea of quality of Indian institutions, UK side will be looking forward to support more UK students to India under ‘Generation UK India’ Program.

The launch of “Year of Education, Research and Innovation” was attended by Minister of State for Universities and Science from UK, Mr. Jo Johnson and Minister of State in Ministry of HRD Dr. R. S. Katheria, senior officials and academicians from both sides, including about 25 Vice Chancellors from UK Universities and Vice Chancellors and Directors of Indian higher education institutions as well as media persons.

The launch was preceded by a bilateral meeting led by the two Ministers, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and Mr. Sajid Javid, in which issues of mutual interests were discussed in detail. It was also attended by the Ministers of State from both sides i.e. Mr. Jo Johnson and Dr. R.S. Katheria and other senior officials.

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