Unesco Category-1 institute to come up in Delhi

To be named Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Development


The Executive Board of Unesco has approved India’s proposal to set up an institute here, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters. The government would spend around Rs 100 crore for building infrastructure and the Unesco contribution would be around $500,000.

This approval was accorded by acclamation in the Joint Administrative and Finance Commission of the Executive Board at its 182nd Session, held on September 18. This would be the first Category-I Institute of Unesco to be established in the Asia Pacific region. At present, there are eleven Unesco Category-I institutes and except three, all are located in developed countries. The proposal to set up the  institute was submitted to Unesco earlier this year.

Sibal had earlier met Unesco  D G  Koichiro Matsuura in July this year and informed him about India’s keenness to establish the institute here.

Subsequently, the DG had sent two mission teams for appraisal, who visited New Delhi from June 25 to 30 and from July 27 to 29 to discuss the various aspects of the proposal before its submission to the Executive Board for consideration.

Category – I institutes and centres are an integral part of Unesco and its governing bodies are either elected by the General Conference or appointed in whole or part by the Director General, Unesco and report to the General Conference.

These are governed by Unesco’s rules and regulations and are an integral part of the organisation’s programme and budget. These institutes are designed to serve as centres of excellence and expertise in the area of specialisation to member states and to contribute to Unesco’s programmes, objectives and strategies.

The proposal will be formally approved by the General Conference of Unesco in its 35th Session, which is going to be held from 6 – 23 October, 2009 at its headquarters at Paris.
Earlier in the day addressing a CII conference, Sibal said introducing vocational training between Class 8 and 12 could be an important way to deal with the country’s skill shortage.

Addressing Global Summit on Skills Development, the minister said only one out of eight students study further than Class 12 and therefore there was an urgent need for converting the natural skills of students into employable, vocational skills.

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