Plans Activated for New India-Russia Joint Sci-Tech Centers and Education—Training Youth for Nuclear and Space Technology
September 26, 2014 • 11:47AM

This week, visiting Russian Vice-Minister of Education and Science and Technology Alexander Povalko is in New Delhi to discuss closer collaboration between Russia and India in scientific education and economic growth. He met with India's Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh; and the Russian Minister agreed to develop joint India-Russia science and technology centers and work for methods of technology transfer between the two countries. He also offered to invite Indian scholars to make use of the newly set-up Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.

This Institute is a private research university located near Skolkovo, Moscow Oblast, in the close vicinity of Moscow. The school, which was founded in 2011, is a project led by the Skolkovo Foundation, with MIT as a major developmental partner as part of the MIT Skoltech Initiative. The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology will provide graduate education programs in a range of scientific research, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Skoltech will award Masters and Ph.D. degrees in its five education programs, corresponding to the priority areas for the Skolkovo project: Information Technology; Energy Science and Technology; Biomedical Science and Technology; Nuclear Science and Technology; and Space Science and Technology.

During their discussions, two Ministers identified specific areas for cooperation to boost economic growth, including nuclear power, IT, energy efficiency, aerospace, and bio-medical sciences.

A new book by Stanford University researchers, University Expansion in a Changing Global Economy: Triumph of the BRICS?, reports on how the four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are pouring money into their elite colleges in an effort to create world-class institutions and have their graduates compete with the United States and Europe.

"In the past 20 years, university systems in these big countries have just exploded," said co-author Martin Carnoy, a Stanford professor of education. These four of the five BRICS nations together increased undergraduate students from about 19 million students in 2000 to more than 40 million students in 2010. The largest increase was in China, which went from fewer than 3 million to almost 12 million bachelor's degree students during that period, the Stanford study says.