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8 Indian Varsities Tie Up with American Varsities: India-US Research

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India-US Research gets fresh agreements
India and the US will announce eight new agreements between top research universities at a summit level meet in June in a bid to give fresh impetus to their education diplomacy under the $10mn Singh Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative.

Eight Indian universities will each tie up with an American university handpicked by top researchers in the latest phase of the initiative, named after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama.

The universities will collaborate on research projects on climate change, demographic gains, public health, sustainable infrastructure development, renewable energy and agriculture education. The University Grants Commission, India's apex higher education regulator, has picked four Indian universities that have pitched joint projects with American counterparts.

The US-India Educational Foundation has selected four other American universities for projects with Indian varsities. The selections - to be announced at the India US Higher Education Summit scheduled for June - represent the second set of projects carefully selected by Indian and US officials and researchers under the Singh Obama Initiative.

But the Singh Obama Initiative - or the Obama Singh Initiative as the Americans call it - is not only about education and joint research. Top officials accept that the pact is a part of the joint strategic cooperation between the two "natural partners," as Obama has called the US and India, the world's two largest democracies.

The sectors picked for collaborative research - such as agriculture, climate change, public health and India's potential gains from its young population - have been sources of tension between the two nations. India annually sends over 100,000 students to the US for higher education - second only to China.

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