US universities welcome for joint ventures: PM


Singh said his government was working on a major plan to expand education system for which 40 universities, including IITs and IIMs, would be set up.

"It goes without saying that human resource development is probably the most critical component of our development aspirations," he said during an interaction at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) after his address there.

"Our biggest problem in expanding our educations system particularly at the higher education level is the deficiency in the quantity and quality of qualified teachers," he said in response to a question.

"We believe that with joint ventures with their US counterpart, this deficiency can be removed," Singh added.

The invitation to American varsities assumes significance as the Indian government is set to enact a legislation that will allow entry of foreign universities in the country.

The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill is ready for introduction in the Parliament.

Singh emphasised that his government was working towards expanding areas of cooperation between India and the US to enhance the capabilities of private and public universities and strengthening the faculty in both.

"If private universities come into being in our country that would open up enormous opportunities for collaboration between the university system of our two countries," he said.

The Prime Minister talked about the need for improving skills of the population, saying it was essential for ushering growth and prosperity in India.

"If we succeed in improving the skill level of our population we would have mounted an effective attack on problems of poverty ignorance and disease and we look forward to more intensified cooperation between Indian university system and US university system to make that happen," he added.

Pointing out that 1,00,000 Indian students come to the US every year for education, he said, "This is a development we greatly welcome but we must simultaneously work hard to strengthen our university system."

"In all these areas I see enormous opportunities for the university system in our two countries to work with each other," he added.

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