Karnataka govt, British Council partner to strengthen bilateral cooperation in higher education

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(Eds: Adds details) Bengaluru, Dec 17 (PTI) The Karnataka government and the British Council on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in higher education.

It will facilitate collaborative and mutually beneficial programmes in the state and contribute to increased research and social linkages in the field of higher education between the two entities, an official release from the CMO said.

The MoU between British Council and the Karnataka State Council for Higher Education is aimed at deeper collaboration between the state and the UK to achieve the outcomes envisioned through the New Education Policy of the Centre.

The release further said student mobility and faculty exchange across higher education institutions (HEIs) in Karnataka and the UK is a key priority of the MoU to enhance research and support internationalisation of HEIs.

The two entities will work closely to strengthen Karnataka's higher education academic landscape through systemic initiatives such as leadership development for faculty and, education and research partnerships between institutions of the state and the UK, it added.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, UK Secretary of State for foreign and development affairs Dominic Raab, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan among others.

The two governments are signing a first-of-its-kind three years MoU involving collaboration on leadership development in higher education institutions, Yediyurappa said.

Pointing out that Karnataka's Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) initiative for innovation partnerships with countries across the globe has contributed to the state's global image as the leading tech hub, he said, UK has been a very important GIA partner for Karnataka and 38 per cent of UK investment into India in 2017-18 came into Karnataka.

The government's Urban Development department has collaborated with the UK through the Climate Resilient Cities for Shared Prosperity Urban Development programme, he said.

This will deliver a transformational project on design and delivery of Multimodal Transport Hubs in Bengaluru, an Integrated Transport Authority and Transport Observatory in partnership with UK Catapults.

Barbara Wickham OBE, Director India of the British Council said the MoU was a further step in realising the mutual vision of a deep, strong India-UK education relationship while supporting the knowledge ambitions laid out in India's National Education Policy 2020.

'Through this MoU, we look forward to creating more education and employment opportunities for aspiring students of Karnataka as well as supporting the state's vision for stronger higher education systems,' she added.

The council's South India Director Janaka Pushpanathan, said employability and upskilling was a focus area for governments across the world and 'we are confident that the co-developed programmes as part of the MoU will help drive the desired results for both Karnataka and the UK in these areas.' According to a news release issued by the British High Commission, Dominic Raab on Thursday concluded his three-day visit to India with a series of agreements signed in Bengaluru, signalling the UKs strong partnership with India on climate change.

Speaking at a 'sustainability showcase' held at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru Raab said: The UK- India partnership is helping to create a cleaner, greener planet and our joint investment in the Neev fund will help give entrepreneurs and their ideas the opportunity to grow.

The Neev Infrastructure Equity Fund was launched by the UK and Indian Prime Ministers in 2015.

Backed by the State Bank of India, the Small Industries Development Bank of India and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Neev Fund has invested in a portfolio of ten pioneering infrastructure service companies in the north of India, it was noted.

The Foreign Secretary also met research staff at the Indian Institute of Science working on a 13m research project which will deliver two demonstration buildings in India capable of meeting their own energy needs at the same time as supplying energy to the local grid.

Meanwhile, the release said UKs CDC Group, Indias National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and the Green Growth Equity Fund announce 290m ($386m) investment to boost green energy transition. PTI KSU RS VS VS