TAMIL NADU

Role of U.S. vital in investments for higher education

For better ties: K. Sankaranarayanan, Governor of Maharashtra (third right) releasing abstracts of the 40th annual conference of the Indian Association for American Studies at Bharathiar University in Coimbatore on Wednesday. Pongalur N. Palanisamy, Minister for Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry (second right), Michael P. Pelletier, Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs, the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi (third left), C. Swaminathan, Vice-Chancellor of the university (second left), A. Thanikodi, Organising Secretary of the conference (left), and K.S. Purushothaman, President of IAAS (right) are in the picture. — PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

For better ties: K. Sankaranarayanan, Governor of Maharashtra (third right) releasing abstracts of the 40th annual conference of the Indian Association for American Studies at Bharathiar University in Coimbatore on Wednesday. Pongalur N. Palanisamy, Minister for Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry (second right), Michael P. Pelletier, Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs, the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi (third left), C. Swaminathan, Vice-Chancellor of the university (second left), A. Thanikodi, Organising Secretary of the conference (left), and K.S. Purushothaman, President of IAAS (right) are in the picture. — PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN  

‘Need for more students to opt for research in different areas'

According to the National Knowledge Commission, India will need 15,000 more universities if the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is to be made 21 per cent by 2017. For this, huge investments are required. The role of the United States is vital in facing this challenge, K. Sankaranarayanan, Governor of Maharashtra, said here on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day 40 {+t} {+h} annual conference of the Indian Association for American Studies (IAAS). It was organised jointly by the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai, and Bharathiar University.

“India and the U.S. are poised for crucial partnerships that will shape the 21 {+s} {+t} century. Higher education in the context of Indo-U.S. partnerships will be a win-win situation for both the countries,” the Governor said.

He pointed out that the U.S. had produced as many as 283 Nobel laureates in the streams of science alone. Stressing that higher education in India needed an overhaul, he said it should improve in terms of expansion, excellence, and inclusion.

“We cannot afford to leave higher education to the vagaries of economy.”

Though the Government spending on higher education had increased, quality was still a point of contention. There was an urgent need for more students to opt for research in different areas.

Pongalur N. Palanisamy, Minister for Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry, said education in India was mainly used for employment. But, in the U.S., any innovation or development was initiated from the campuses of universities.

Challenge

Michael P. Pelletier, Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs, the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, said it was necessary to teach and train the students of India and the U.S. to become citizens of the globe. Building on mutual strengths of both the countries would help overcome this challenge.

C. Swaminathan, Vice-Chancellor, Bharathiar University, said no country could act in isolation because of multiplicity of systems in the world. So, developing a cordial and strong relationship with the U.S. would strengthen the ties between both the countries.

P. Lazarus Samraj, General Secretary, IAAS, said the association had been successful in its objective of fostering American studies in India. The outcome of the earlier conferences had been published into books that serve as reference material for candidates pursuing American studies. This conference had received 367abstracts, an unprecedented number in the history of IAAS.

K.S. Purushothaman, President, IAAS, and A. Thanikodi, Organising Secretary of the conference, spoke.

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