India wants to increase its higher educational bandwidth in the country: new campuses with quality professors for teaching students. The US view seems largely focused on broadening educational and research exchanges and providing for knowledge transfer on the inputs needed for a vibrant higher education system. The Americans seem wary of bricks and mortar investments and are more interested in the education of Indians in the US and searching for additional
opportunities for their faculties and students to partake of India’s rich cultural and technical resources.
To an extent, the 2009 ‘Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative’, hit the right note. Focused on junior faculty development, this initiative goes to the heart of the one resource most necessary to increase bandwidth: creative, competent faculty, an area of higher education in which the US excels.
However, the initiative, funded jointly at only $10 million, cannot hope to fill the faculty gap.
Likewise, India’s foreign education Bill, which was floated two years ago, was hailed by some as providing the means for increasing India’s educational bandwidth by legitimising US and other foreign institutions involvement in higher education. But disappointingly, the Bill is yet to become an Act.
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