The Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN) and USAID officials on Tuesday began consultations on developing high level partnerships with US universities and industries, under the joint agreement signed ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in late January.
A team of three representatives, comprising of Mitch Kirby, USAID senior education advisor, Sheila E. Desai, USAID India senior science and technology advisor and Eric Johnson, senior research economist with RTI International visited IITGN campus on Tuesday to assess institutional needs and strategies with senior IITGN administrators
Their discussions covered a wide range of possible areas of support ranging from strengthening research capabilities, student and faculty exchanges, leadership development, networking, entrepreneurship, etc.
The Joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the United States Agency for International Development for providing support to Indian Institutes of Technology signed on January 23, 2015, in advance of President Obama’s India visit, calls for establishing technical assistance priorities and drafting strategies for further development for IITs and identifies IIT Gandhinagar as the initial IIT for support.
Director of IITGN Sudhir Jain said, “We look forward to working with USAID in strengthening and expanding many of our exchange programmes and partnerships as well as in developing new initiatives and networks with educational institutions and industries around research collaborations, industry partnerships, entrepreneurship etc.”
USAID and IIT officials will work over the next few weeks in identifying the major areas of collaboration and prioritising them for implementation during the three year term of the agreement.