Ahead of Modi’s US visit, Cabinet approves several MoUs

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September 25, 2014

Cabinet approves key agreements in clean energy, education, science and technology and infrastructure, ahead of PM Modi’s visit to the US

New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States, the Union Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved a number of agreements between the two countries.

September 25, 2014

Cabinet approves key agreements in clean energy, education, science and technology and infrastructure, ahead of PM Modi’s visit to the US

New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States, the Union Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved a number of agreements between the two countries.

Among other details, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said a meeting chaired by PM agreed on India’s participation in the construction of a 30m telescope being built by the US in Hawaii. The telescope will be constructed at a cost of $1.47bn by an international consortium consisting of institutions from the US, Canada, Japan, India and China. India has earmarked Rs 1,299.8 crore for the project.

Also agreed was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with relation to co-operation in ‘gas hydrates’. "This is for cooperation in exploring natural gas in marine sediments," Prasad explained. The US Department of Energy (USDoE) 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.

A number of initiatives relating to education were also discussed. The cabinet approved a joint declaration between India’s Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry and the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the US, to result in Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education. Another agreement will relate to co-operation and support to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). And yet another will focus on programmes for partnership for ‘active learning for young aspiring minds’. "It will be an online education programme, and will be later integrated with national mission for education," Prasad said.

The Indo-US Partnership for Online Education (IUPOE) programme will comprise a mechanism that will enable top universities in the US (top 100 in global rankings) to create and share postgraduate online courses (and associated assets) on India’s ‘SWAYAM’ platform; this is the HRD ministry’s online facility for students.

A deal to enhance co-operation on energy security, clean energy and climate change was also approved.

"These MoUs are a symbol of the growing cooperation between India and the US. It also symbolises the excitement in the US over the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," the law minister said.


Courtesy: IANS