In a big achievement,University of Pune (UoP) has been awarded the Social Science project in the second round of Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI).
Titled Inclusive Universities: Linking Diversity,Equity and Excellence for the 21st Century, the project will be taken up jointly with the US-led University of Massachusetts,Amherst.
Announced by the US and Indian governments,OSI aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education.
A total of eight institutional partnership projects have been announced by the US State Department recently as a part of the OSI with each project entitled to receive an award of approximately $250,000 to be utilised over a three year period.
Addressing media on Friday,Vice-Chancellor Wasudeo Gade said the project awarded to university in second round of OSI was the first across the country in the field of Social Science with other seven projects belonging to the field of science and technology.
The project awarded under OSI will develop appropriate research and analytical tools,build institutional capacity and generate policy directions for a genuine synergy between shared commitments to equity and excellence in higher education, he said.
Sangeeta Kamat,associate professor,University of Massachusetts,Amherst,who is principal investigator of the project,said the main aim was to dispel presumed opposition between equity and excellence in higher education and make a compelling case for how diversity and excellence reinforce one another and are essential to innovation and progress in multicultural democratic societies.
Elaborating on activities and programmes of the project,Gade said,The project will involve exchange of study material,facilitating discussions among research teams,collection of demographic data,survey and qualitative and quantitative research work among other activities.
The vice-chancellor said outcome of the project would help government in framing and shaping its policy decisions among other crucial benefits.
In another significant achievement,UoP’s two proposals submitted under the Erasmus Mundus Programme of the European Commission has been selected. This programme aims to enhance the quality of higher education and promote dialogue and understanding between people and cultures through mobility and academic cooperation. The budget for UoPs approved proposal is expected to be around three million Euro.