Higher Education

Cabinet gives approval to Fulbright programme

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The Union Cabinet gave its approval to an agreement that will double the number of scholars exchanged with the United States of America under the Fulbright Educational exchange programme.

It has also rechristened the programme to Fulbright-Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarships and Grants.

Officials said the agreement provides for the creation of the 'US India Educational Foundation' awarding 'Fulbright Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarships and Grants'. Initially about 240 students from India and a similar number from the USA will be sponsored annually under the programme.

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The scholarships are given with financial contribution by the Government of India. The Cabinet's approval to the revised draft agreement would also provide equal participation of Government of India in policy and decision-making on the exchange of Indian and US scholars through equal participation in the board of the US-India Education Foundation.

Officials said that the move would serve Government of India's objectives of supporting and encouraging Indian studies, research, instruction and other educational activities for US citizens and nationals in India and Indian citizens and nationals in US schools. 'The progamme encourages exchanges between American academics and Indian universities. Host institutions and organisations on both sides would have the opportunity to develop the desired linkages,' officials said.

The Fulbright programme is also intended to support (with support to research and capacity building), the India-US bilateral initiatives of 2005-06 in agriculture, clean energy, climate change, science and technology, global issues of common concern etc, they said.

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