UK tie-up on cards for IISER-Pune, IIT-Punjab during Sibalís visit in Jan

Collaboration of the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune, with the University of Glasgow; IIT-Punjab's tie-up with the prestigious Imperial College of London; and 25 Indian vice-chancellors selected by UGC flying off to UK for academic interaction with their UK counterparts through the UK Leadership Foundation ó all these will be formalised in early 2010 when Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal visits UK in January.

Both the IISER-Pune and IIT-Punjab are amongst the new set of educational institutes set up by the government over the last two years. It is envisaged that actual partnership activities with the UK institutes will help in all-round development of these institutes with steps like faculty development through PhD and/or post-doctoral placements of young Indians at UK consortia universities, training visits of new IIT/IISER staff to UK and visits of UK staff to India.

Accompanied by directors of IIT-Ropar, IISER-Pune and IIT-Chennai besides a V-C of a Central university and HRD ministry officials, Sibal will visit UK between January 12 and 16. The string of MoUs the minister will sign promises to take forward international academic collaborations in top-notch Indian institutes.

It is learnt that the HRD ministry as well as its counterpart in the UK have reached an agreement on all these MoUs and are now working on the fineprint. UK has been keenly involved in internationalisation of its universities and partnerships between science faculties, and India has been reciprocating as well.

With Prof Vivienne Baumfield coordinating the Glasgow University's tie-up with IISER-Pune, much work has gone into the collaboration, with the IISER-Pune director Prof Krishna Ganesh also having visited the varsity recently. The collaboration will see workshops on teaching methods for faculty, exchange programmes and consultancy services.

IISER-Pune is also keen to develop research collaboration, partly through the establishment of joint and spilt-site PhDs through twinning arrangements.

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