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As many as five Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed during the “International Conclave on Higher Education” organised at Mahatama Mandir in Gandhinagar Tuesday. As a pre-event to the Vibrant Summit scheduled in January 2017, these five MoUs, signed in the presence of over 200 national and international delegates, were between the School of Governance Law and Urban Development Saxion University of Applied Science Netherlands and Gujarat Institute of Disaster Manage-ment for exchange of students, faculty and staff members.
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The second MoU was between Embassy of Denmark, New Delhi, and Gujarat Knowledge Society for collaboration of education and research activities. For enhancing employability skills, British Council and Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat (KCG) signed an MoU.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Gujarat Technological University (GTU) also signed an MoU to provide training to GTU students. The fifth MoU was between Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) and Schulich School of Business York University, Canada, for exchange of students and faculties and joint research activities.
Admitting lack of funding for research, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, who was invited to the concalve, said in his pre-recorded video address, “Many a times in private, PM Narendra Modi laments that we cannot fund research the way we should but he is taking direction to fund more and more and so some initiatives like ‘Ucchattar Avishkar Yojana’. Industry and academicia interaction was lacking in India. Now, IIT team of students and faculty will work for ideas from industries and how to improve them. An estimated Rs 260 crore is meant for this project.”
Due to a cartilage injury in his left arm, Javadekar could not make it for the conclave and sent a recorded message.
Speaking about the importance of research, the HRD minister said, “For centuries, India contributed 25 per cent to the world GDP and 35 per cent world trade. Today, we are not even one per cent of the world trade and much lower as GDP is concerned. We had Nalanadas, Takshshilas, Vikramshilas.
“The world talent used to come here to learn. So I believe that only those countries can prosper that has best of universities. For that, we need to improve higher education quality. At primary education level you have to inculcate and promote inquisitiveness in students because that is the foundation for innovation. But at higher education government duty is to provide atmosphere for research and innovation and improvement of quality. Innovation brings in money, wealth generation, create jobsand technologies.”
State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama in his inaugural address said, “Only an educated country can aspire to be a developed country. Today, we have 58 universities, 116 government colleges, 56 grant-in-aid and 456 technical colleges. 34 new government colleges and 2 new universities have been opened during the last two years. To achieve the goals of global rankings, institutions should follow best practices of world class universities
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