Cabinet approves signing of agreement for South Asian University

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) The Union Cabinet today approved signing of the 'Headquarters Agreement' between India and South Asian University (catering to SAARC countries) and issuing of a notification under the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947.

The Agreement will provide an overall framework for ''smooth and unobstructed'' functioning of the University and for regulating relations between the University and India--the host country, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Prithviraj Chavan, said at a press conference after a meeting of the Union Cabinet here today.

The establishment of a South Asian University would be a ''pathbreaking achievement'' for India manifesting its commitment to SAARC. The project will showcase ''educational and technical prowess'' in the region.

The jurisdiction of the university will extend to entire India and campuses and centres outside India in the SAARC region.

The first session of the university is scheduled to begin in August 2010.

At the 13th SAARC Summit on November 12-13, 2005, in Dhaka, (Bangladesh), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had proposed setting up a South Asian University that would cater to the SAARC region.

An inter-governmental agreement for establishing the university was signed by SAARC member countries at the 14th SAARC Summit in New Delhi on April 3-4, 2007.

The University which will be the first international university to be hosted by India, will have full functional autonomy and subject to the terms and conditions of the inter-governmental agreement.

UNI RB PK HS1412

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