118 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) for partnership in higher education were signed on first day of International Conference of Academic Institutions (ICAI) 2013, between Indian and foreign universities at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU).
Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurating the ICAI meet said that he expressed faith in the mega-event as a fruitful link between Industries and Academia. He proudly took the advantage to state that Gujarat is the first state to enact the Gujarat Education Innovation Commission (GEIC) in India. Optimistically, the Chief Minister envisioned the future Gujarat as the greatest source of youth power with skills and knowledge for the whole mankind.
The second ICAI-2013 Conference is expected to be a catalyst for universities in Gujarat to build an international relationship with foreign institutions for promoting long term sustainable strategic partnerships in the areas of education, faculty, student exchange, knowledge exchange and capacity building of the universities.
Judith Wolfson, the Vice President - International Relationship, University of Toronto, Canada, emphasized on the innovation and creation of collective knowledge to face the challenges in the global hub. She said that the University is a part of society and it gives core values of excellence. Mr. Sanjay Lalbhai, Chairman and Managing Director of Arvind Ltd. went on to state that Gujarat has achieved great success in the private sector, technology and Higher Education. He equally emphasized on the empowerment of girls and development of eco-system in Gujarat.
Representatives of 145 international institutions from 56 countries and 52 institutions from 14 states of India and 67 others from Gujarat participated in the event.
Toby Linden, Lead Education Specialist from SASED, The World Bank, said that for the last two decades the World Bank has been a pillar of support to the Indian Education System. According to the World Bank report on Madhya Pradesh, 90 per cent students study in the state universities of India itself. In this connection, students of Gujarat will be facilitated 2 billion dollars for Education development.
The major MoUs that were signed during the event were between, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University; Galilee International Management Institute and S.S.B.I. Institute. Indian Institute of Teacher Education (State University) Gandhinagar and University of Helsinki, Finland, University Of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom and Gujarat Technological University, Cairn India Limited (CAIRN) and Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University, University of Saskatchewan, Canada and Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.
By Abhay Anand