USD239.390 million to South Asian University by India

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved payment of India's contribution of US $ 239.930 million to the South Asian University, which is around 79 % of the total cost of the full establishment of the University until 2014. 'As part of India's asymmetric commitment to SAARC, India is ready to disburse the first tranche of its financial commitment of US $9.464 million to ensure that the University is operational in July-August 2010,' said the Cabinet. The University will be the first international University to be hosted by India. The objectives of the University are to disseminate and advance knowledge, wisdom and understanding by providing instructional and research facilities in such branches of learning as it may deem fit. The South Asian University shall be a non-state, non-profit self governing international educational institution with a regional focus for the purposes set forth in this Agreement and shall have full academic freedom for the attainment of its objectives. The jurisdiction of the University shall extend to whole of India and to campuses and centres established outside India in the SAARC region. 100 acres of land next to Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is being acquired by the Ministry of External Affairs from DDA for leasing to the University. At the Thirteenth SAARC Summit held in Dhaka, in November 2005, Prime Minister proposed the establishment of a South Asian University to provide world-class facilities and professional faculty to students and researchers from SAARC member countries. The Inter-governmental Agreement for the Establishment of the South Asian University was signed at the 14th SAARC Summit (April 3-4, 2007). The SAARC Member States also decided that the University would be established in India.

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