The present Indian delegation in the U.S. headed by the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has lead to some vital decisions and agreements, which will be beneficial for the Indian science community. India and U.S. are going to sign a unique agreement tomorrow, which will make some of the leading physics and other pure science professors from leading U.S. universities offer lectures to Indian students in Indian institutes. ISRO’s new Edusat satellite will beam these lectures to different learning centers spread over India. This is indeed a revolutionary agreement, as it will enable one studying a pure science course in an Indian town to simultaneously benefit from leading U.S. institutions and thus gain a global perspective to the overall study.
This initiative will give a strong boost to the science learning centers in India who have been facing challenges and stagnation over the years. In 2001, UNDP brought out a Technology Achievement Index which had indicated that India’s pool of trained scientists and technical personnel are shrinking. According to the report gross tertiary science enrollment ratio (percentage of school leavers entering the science stream) in India during the period 1995-97 was a mere 1.7%, as compared to 23% in South Korea, 27.4% in Finland, 13.9% in the U.S., 5.9% in China.
A similar exercise is also planned for the agricultural institutions of the country. U.S. agricultural universities will also be sending over faculty members to take courses in Indian agricultural institutions. U.S. has also publicly affirmed its backing for India’s civilian nuclear and space endeavors as indicated by the U.S. president George Bush’s statement on Monday, 18th July.