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MOSCOW, May 7 (NEPS): The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee visited Moscow State University yesterday (May 8, 2015) and witnessed the launch of a Network of Indian and Russian Institutions of higher education. An agreement between the Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India and Russian Science Foundation as well as several agreements between Indian and Russian university were also signed on the occasion.
Speaking at the event, the President said India and Russia have a long history of educational cooperation. In the late 1950s, 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 the numbers have dropped somewhat in recent years, even now, over four thousand Indian students study at Russian universities. Some of our 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”. It is this educational system that has led to Russia’s enviable success as a nation of learning. It has enabled Russia’s technological achievements in areas such as material sciences, aerospace, nuclear science, petrochemicals, mining and heavy engineering.
The President said there is a need for a broader and institutionalized engagement between educational institutions of India and Russia. At the last Summit meeting between India and Russia in December 2014, the two countries had decided to support a network of partnerships between their universities. Many of 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 would facilitate establishment of more institutional linkages, including exchanges of faculty, researchers and students, joint research activities and scientific conferences and symposia.