By Daniel Hunter

As part the Prime Minister’s trade mission to India this week, UK and Indian education and research institutions have agreed a raft of new joint ventures. Joint UK India research programmes have gone from £1 million in 2008 to over £100 million.

British universities have hugely increased the level of collaboration with their Indian counterparts.

The new deals include establishing a new Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Institute in India; major collaborations on neuroscience; research partnerships in energy, medicine, business and manufacturing and English language training for 1.5 million teachers in India by 2017.

The delegation accompanying the Prime Minister included Universities and Science Minister David Willetts and representatives from leading UK universities, colleges and institutions, who met counterparts in India to discuss how to deepen these links even further.

On Monday the education delegation visited St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, to hold a roundtable discussion on education and employment and on Tuesday there was a further roundtable on innovation and education followed by a visit to Janki Devi Memorial College in Delhi.

During the summit Prime Ministers Cameron and Singh also announced the third call for proposals under the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), which has supported 200 partnerships since 2010.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: "This impressive range of announcements makes clear the breadth and strength of the UK and India’s education and research links. Both countries can benefit immensely from sharing expertise and resources in this way — boosting education, research and business.

"Our trip to India allowed us to further deepen our relationship and help to realise its full potential."

Dr Joanna Newman, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit at Universities UK, said: "This is the largest higher education delegation which has accompanied the Prime Minister to India. It showcases the strength of UK higher education and our commitment to deepen our engagement.

"There is already close collaboration on innovation in teaching, research, developing links with industry as well as through two-way staff and student exchanges. This visit has enabled us to develop these connections further."

Prof Paul Boyle, RCUK’s International Champion, said: "I am thrilled to note the progress that we at Research Councils UK have made with our partners in India. We are particularly proud to be partners in our attempts to address key global challenges that range from food security, climate change, energy, health and economic and social research."

The new UK-India collaborations include:


- Several joint research programmes including smart energy grids and energy storage (£10 million), bioenergy (£10 million), advanced manufacturing (£6 million), understanding the Indian monsoon ((£6m) and livestock (£10 million).

- The University of Cambridge and the Government of India Department of Biotechnology are establishing a Centre for Chemical Biology and Therapeutics (CCBT) — investing £11 million over five years.

- A jointly-funded programme between the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and India’s Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) will support innovative businesses working together on commercialisation of research in areas such as smart energy and healthcare technologies.

- A major new initiative in neuroscience between the University of Edinburgh and the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore.

- Cardiff University is partnering with the University of Hyderabad and LV Prashad Eye Institute in Hyderabad to share best practice in the teaching of optometry in the UK and India

- The British Library is launching Mewar Ramayana online — a major collaborative partnership with a number of Institutions in India to create a website enabling researchers and the public to access the full 17th century manuscripts.

- Warwick Business School (WBS) will establish a global energy research centre in conjunction with the Batra Group. The WBS also plans to open an office in Delhi in 2014 to coordinate research activity.

- There are plans to fund UK-India ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnerships’, bringing together academic institutions with businesses, giving them the access to the skills and expertise to support UK-India business collaborations.

Education and skills

- The London School of Economics (LSE) will expand its research programme on gender equality with Tata Institute of Social Sciences to the level of £4 million jointly, double the current level.

- A new English language package provided by the British Council will train 1.5 million teachers in India by 2017.

- The Open University is to train one million teachers in India through its £10m Teacher Education through the school-based support in India project (TESS-India).

- The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors will be launching its pioneering RICS School of the Built Environment, Amity University in April. The School will help equip 15,000-20,000 professionals over the next three to five years.

- International students, including those in India, will now have free access to the UK’s top universities through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The Universities of Bath, Leicester, Nottingham, Reading and Queen’s University Belfast, as well as the British Library, are the latest institutions to join the programme.

- As part of a partnership between AoC India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, 25 UK colleges will be partnered with 25 Indian community colleges to build capacity in leadership development, teaching expertise, curriculum development and apprenticeships.

- The University of Warwick is launching a suite of joint PhD and masters degrees in engineering in partnership with IIT Bhubaneswar.

- The LSE is making 50 new scholarships available to Indian students looking to complete Masters degrees.

- The University of Exeter is offering 14 full scholarships for Indian students to attend its International Summer School in July-August 2013, worth £32,000 in total.

- Warwick Business School (WBS) has signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) to enable graduate students of the Postgraduate Programme for Executives at IIMA and the Warwick MBA to study at each other’s institute.

- The University of Southampton is working with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, who will host the first ever International Social Enterprise Camp. A group of 30 students from Southampton will travel to work with 30 Indian students for the first camp in April 2014.

- The Association of Colleges (AoC) India and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) signed an MoU to create partnerships between UK FE Colleges and key Indian industries to facilitate sharing best practice in education, training and skills development.

- The UK India Business Council (UKICB) is collaborating with Tata to establish a 50,000 capacity skills training centre in Orissa, India, supporting both large employers and the supply chain consisting of local businesses.

- A4e exchanged an MoU with Apollo Medskills to skill 5,000 people as patient care assistants. This is a pilot project aimed at candidates aged 18-35 in Hyderabad, Shillong, Bihar and Chennai.

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