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UK-India Year of Education & Research launches

The UK-India Year of Education and Research initiative was launched last week by UK Business Innovation and Skills Secretary Sajid Javid and Indian Minister for Human Resources Smriti Irani. It promises to deepen educational ties and increase bilateral student and staff mobility.

UK Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, at a roundtable on international partnership and mobility. Photo: British High Commission, New Delhi.

“Our goals include the UK helping India meet its ever-growing need for skills, education and research, for which the UK is perfectly placed”

Launched in New Delhi last week, the programme will encourage collaboration across a range of initiatives, including the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Global Initiative for Academic Networks, which facilitates international scholars coming to teach in Indian institutions.

“Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK electrified the UK-India relationship, setting new, more ambitious goals for our shared future”

Javid confirmed that the UK government will help to expand the GIAN, sending around 100 academics to India next year.

Javid also said he looks forward to launching the third phase of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, which began in 2006 to enhance education links between the two countries.

The two governments have each committed £3m to UKIERI-III, which will provide a basic framework for bilateral cooperation between India and the UK over the next five years, with a focus on issues such as integration of skills in the education system, faculty development and enhancing mobility, Javid said.

The announcement follows Narendra Modi’s inaugural visit to the UK last month, during which the Indian Prime Minister stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in education and research.

Speaking in New Delhi, Javid said: “Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK electrified the UK-India relationship, setting new, more ambitious goals for our shared future.”

“This includes the UK helping India meet its ever-growing need for skills, education and research, for which the UK is perfectly placed.”

Also in attendance, UK Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson oversaw a roundtable on international partnership and mobility, attended by higher education institution leaders from both the UK and India.

He also announced that the UK will extend its Newton Fund, which last year committed to providing £375m to support international science and innovation partnerships over five years, to 2021.

He reiterated the UK government’s commitment to providing £50m over the next five years to strengthen science, research and innovation cooperation between the two countries through the Newton-Bhabha Fund, which was announced last year.

While in India, Johnson witnessed the signing of several agreements between UK and Indian institutions, including an MoU between Manipal Education Group and The Open University, UK to provide virtual science labs to STEM learners in India.

“This exciting new partnership brings together institutions from the UK and India who are leaders in combining cutting-edge technology with a focus on industry-relevant learning,” he said

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