Cabinet clears MoUs to be signed with US during Modi visit

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New Delhi, Sep 24: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to signing of six MoUs in sectors including education, environment, gas and space science between India and the US ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to that country beginning tomorrow.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said India favoured good relations with the US and the decisions taken today are a pointer in this direction.

"The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister today gave its approval to the signing a Joint Declaration between the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of India and the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States of America to initiate a new programme entitled Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education," a government release said.

GIAN aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs to engage with the institutes of higher education in India to augment the countrys existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reforms and further strengthen Indias scientific and technological capabilities.

The proposed India-US Cooperation will be beneficial for adoption of newer methods of pedagogy, infuse creativity and innovation-driven learning and professional rigour at a relatively lower cost, boosting research in cutting edge technologies and to build stronger academic networks between the two countries.

The proposal envisages the creation of a channel for US academics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to spend part of their time teaching in academic and research institutions across India. In another decision, the Cabinet okayed signing of an MoU betweeen the two countries for cooperation in gas hydrates for a period of five years.

Cooperation with the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) in the field of gas hydrates will facilitate active participation of the National Gas Hydrate Programme (NGHP) and DOE scientists in data collection, analysis and identification of sites for pilot production testing.

PTI

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