On the eve of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit, Moscow State University on Friday (May 8, 2015) launched a Network of Indian and Russian Institutions of higher education, besides several agreements between Indian and Russian university.
Speaking at the event, the President said India and Russia have a long history of educational cooperation traceable to the late 1950s, when the Soviet Union supported the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in its formative years.
Tens of thousands of Indian students studied in Russia in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, though it has dropeed significantly in recent years. Currently, over four thousand Indian students study at Russian universities.
In addition, some Indian institutions have active programmes of cooperation – exchange of students, researchers and faculty members, and sharing of research publications.
The President said Russia’s educational institutions have a great legacy of accomplishment. As far back as 1930, during his visit to the Soviet Union, Rabindranath Tagore had described Russian universities as “miracles in the realm of education”, he reminded.
Noting that it is this educational system that has led to Russia’s enviable success as a nation of learning, hesaid it has enabled Russia’s technological achievements in areas such as material sciences, aerospace, nuclear science, petrochemicals, mining and heavy engineering.
The President has stressed the need for a broader and institutionalized engagement between educational institutions of India and Russia.
In December 2014, India and Russia had decided to support a network of partnerships between their universities and many universities have been involved with their counterparts in identifying opportunities for cooperation and are ready to formalize arrangements for systematic cooperation in the future.
The establishment of a Network of Indian and Russian Universities now would facilitate establishment of more institutional linkages, including exchanges of faculty, researchers and students, joint research activities and scientific conferences and symposia, said the President.