8 projects shortlisted for US-India knowledge initiative

The Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative was jointly announced in 2009 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama

Written by Anubhuti Vishnoi | New Delhi | Published: March 30, 2012 12:35 am

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Indian educational institutes and top US universities,the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative is set to launch eight key projects — four each from India and the US.

While Cornell University will collaborate with the University of Agricultural Sciences,Dharwad,Rutgers University will coordinate a research project with Tata Institute of Social Sciences. University of Michigan will join hands with Nashik-based Maharashtra University of Health Sciences. University of Montana will work with Bangalore University.

Projects approved by India include collaborative research between Banaras Hindu University and University of Pittsburg,IIT-Kanpur and Virginia Tech,IIT-Delhi and University of Philadelphia,and Mahatma Gandhi University,Kottayam,and Duke University. The projects will include a series of exchange visits and activities that will lead to the achievement of the project’s objectives within a three-year period,sources in the Human Resource Development Ministry said.

The Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative was jointly announced in 2009 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama. The projects will be funded through an estimated $10 million corpus with equal contribution from the Indian and US governments and centre around energy studies,sustainable development,climate change,environmental studies,education and education reform,community development and innovation.

While US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) is the nodal authority for this initiative from the US side,the UGC is administering it on behalf of India. A joint working group comprising Indian and US officials met on March 19 to shortlist four projects each from the 101 proposals received by the USIEF and 41 received by the UGC. The funding pattern and finer modalities will be worked out and announced at the Indo-US Higher Education summit slated for June 2012.

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