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HRD plans to offer lucrative packages to US scholars

The Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) ministry is planning to introduce an attractive package for all member of the over-1000 contingent of U.S. scholars that will soon visit India for short term teaching as part of the Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN).

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According to reports, the U.S. was unable to strike a deal on GIAN because it did not have a centralized body that could handle the necessary work to send faculty to Indian institutions. Apart from that, all universities in the U.S. are completely autonomous. However, the U.S. government has already embraced the GIAN scheme – a point made well clear in last year’s Indo-US joint statement.

Based on inputs from HRD sources, U.S. scholars who have so far taught in India have openly acknowledged that the quality of students in India and their overall teaching experience in the country have so far been appreciable.

In a bid to turn GIAN more attractive to overseas scholars, the HRD ministry has drastically expanded the concept and scope of GIAN since it was first conceived. According to the new policies, scholars from all disciplines will be welcomed and not just those whose expertise lies in the field of science and technology.

Approximately INR 8 lakh will be spent on each individual teacher’s accommodation and remuneration.

The compensation and other monetary details are currently under review. Each individual visiting teacher will be teaching Indian students for a semester.

Meanwhile, the government is also trying to ensure that GIAN does not end up being a club of self serving academics who only invite their friends and/or relatives from the U.S.  Instead, it wants to develop a proper roadmap to make it a fair game. The scheme won’t be applicable to private institutions.

“If everything goes well the scope of GIAN will be expanded even further,” one source said, as reported by the ToI.

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