Indian support for SAARC university

NEW DELHI: The dream of providing world class higher education to students and researchers of South Asia in their own region is now only a step away from being materialised, after the Indian government approved a contribution of $ 239.93 million to the newly established South Asian University.

The contribution constitutes 79 per cent of the total cost of the full establishment of the regional university till 2014.

"As part of India's asymmetric commitment to SAARC, India is ready to disburse the first instalment of its financial commitment of $ 9.464 million to ensure that the university is operational in July-August 2010," the Government of India said in a press release issued here today.

The University will be the first international University in India and the jurisdiction of the University shall extend to whole of India and to campuses and centres established in the SAARC region. The Ministry of External Affairs has already acquired 100 acres of land for the university.

Dr GK Chadha, CEO of South Asian University, told this daily that the university project works were moving at a very encouraging pace even when some of other members of SAARC had not been able to furnish their shares of economic contribution.

The university will commence classes in two disciplines next year — Life Sciences and Bio- Technologies — and would enroll 50 students.

"Our effort will be to provide the students with best of the international faculties, academic standards and best of laboratories so that the students of this region need not have to go to Europe or America to pursue higher education," Dr Chadha said.