New Delhi, June 5 : The revised draft Agreement between the U.S. and India for financing certain education exchange programmes has been approved by the Cabinet.
The Cabinet has approved the change in the nomenclature of the 'Fulbright Scholarship' to 'Fulbright-Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarships and Grants'.
The agreement will facilitate the expansion of the existing Fulbright Educational exchange programme to double the number of scholars exchanged with a financial contribution by the Government of India - and equal participation of the 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.
This would serve the Government of India's objectives of
i) 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 and institutions in or outside USA; visits and interchanges between students and trainees, teachers, instructors and professors; and other related educational and cultural programmes and activities by American scholars / students/ researchers in Indian and similar projects by Indian scholars in the USA.
ii) Encouraging exchanges between American academics and Indian universities. Indian researchers assisting visiting US scholars would benefit greatly from associating with the US visitors' work. Host institutions and organizations on both sides would have the opportunity to develop the desired linkages.
iii) Government's greater ability to steer the programmes and activities to better reflect our priorities and to participate in the selection of the Indian and US beneficiaries of the programme and their areas of work.
India and the US have envisaged bilateral education initiatives to broaden education linkages at the people to people level. The expansion of the Fulbright Agreement, towards this end, will be a landmark initiative.
The programme is also intended to complement and supplement, with support to research and capacity building, the India-US bilateral initiatives of 2005/2006 in agriculture, clean energy, climate change, science and technology, global issues of common concern etc.
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.