Smriti Irani inaugurates GIAN scheme at IIT-Gandhinagar
India may not yet have managed to get the Ivy League to set up campus in India through the much-awaited Foreign Universities Bill but is close to drawing in over 200 academics from global varsities to teach in India at $8, 000- $12, 000.
The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States.
The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group.
The eight institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.
The term Ivy League has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.
The Smriti Irani-led Union Human Resource Development ministry is learnt to have quietly come to an agreement with academics from across countries to teach more than 200 short term academic courses in Indian institutes starting this November through its new scheme — Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN).
The first GIAN backed course by a foreign faculty is expected to start with NIT Surathkal this November.
Prashant V Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science at the University of Notre Dame in USA, it is learnt, is likely to take the first course to be launched under GIAN at the NIT, officials from the HRD ministry said on condition of anonymity.
The Union Cabinet has approved a new program titled Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education aimed at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs, internationally to encourage their engagement with the institutes of Higher Education in India so as to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reform, and elevate India’s scientific and technological capacity to global excellence.
A number of academics from Germany, USA, Canada, France and Australia have shown considerable interest in GIAN and academics from across top global varsities including MIT, Oxford University, Cambridge, Stanford University, University of Berkeley, Imperial College of London are queuing up, sources from across institutes said.
Spain, Brazil, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Russia, Norway, Singapore and Sweden are among other nations sending in academics to India. The Indian gov government had last year also engaged with Manjul Bhargava, R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, to help pitch the GIAN scheme as a brand ambassador.
MHRD Scheme on International Summer/Winter Term (ISWT) under GIAN:
Objective: To arrange Guest Lectures by international renowned experts.
(1) Long and Short Term Goals:
To increase the footfalls of reputed international faculty in the Indian academic institutes.
Provide opportunity to our faculty and students to learn and share knowledge and teaching skills in cutting edge areas.
To create avenue for possible collaborative research.
To increase participation and presence of international students in the academic Institutes.
Opportunity for the students of different Institutes/Universities to interact and learn subjects in niche areas through collaborative learning process.
Provide opportunity for the technical persons from Indian Industries to improve understandings and update their knowledge in relevant areas.
Motivate the best international experts in the world to work on problems related to India.
Sl No. Description of budgetary head per Course Amount* (Rs)
1. International and National Expert Air Fare – 2, 00, 000/-
2. Honorarium to International, National and Host faculty – 2, 00, 000/-
3. Travel and Stay Support to some Participants – 75, 000/-
4. Local hospitality to International and National expert – 50, 000/-
5. Lecture Notes/video-learning material preparation – 50, 000/-
Incidentally, a few IITs and IIMs had raised concerns about paying this huge a remuneration to the visiting faculty citing insufficiency of funds available with them. Some of the IIMs that do not take any financial support from the Centre had also argued heir inability to do so. The Centre is even pitching in with additional funds where institutes may have cited difficulty in paying the decided remuneration for the visiting faculty.
IIT Madras is learnt to be leading the tally so far with over 25 courses expected to be taught by visiting foreign faculty.