The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) today said it plans to open new educational institutions in various parts of the country and enter into a tie-up with foreign universities to provide quality education to students at schools run by it.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said while nine schools and some colleges were opened last year, plans were afoot to open new institutions in different parts of the country this year.

"We will also enter into tie-up with foreign universities to provide quality education to our students," Makkar said about the plans of the apex religious body of the Sikhs. "We have entered into a MoU with the Cambridge University, under which SGPC will send five selected Sikh students to UK for pursuing M.Phil and Ph. D programmes in England.

"While we will bear 50 per cent of the cost of the scholarship, the remaining will be borne by the Cambridge

University," Makkar told a press conference.

The SGPC chief said Guru Granth Sahib World University would be functional by March next at Fatehgarh Sahib district in Punjab. There are about 60,000 students at SGPC-run educational institutions. The Sikh body would also start a process to translate the holy Guru Granth Sahib into other languages.