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* India grants Sri Lanka Rs. 600 million assistance to set up two faculties for University of Jaffna at Kilinochchi
Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 05:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 14, Colombo: The government of India announced today that it is partnering with the government of Sri Lanka to assist in the setting up of two faculties for the University of Jaffna at Kilinochchi.

India has agreed to provide a grant assistance of Rs. 600 million to Sri Lanka to set up a Faculty of Agriculture and a Faculty of Engineering for the University of Jaffna at Kilinochchi.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two governments for the implementation of the project was signed on 14 July 2014 between the High Commissioner of India, Y.K. Sinha, and the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, in the presence of Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jaffna Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam.

As part of the project, the Government of India will set up the physical infrastructure for the two Faculties. These include lecture halls, a conference hall, computer laboratory, library, and sports complex for the Faculty of Agriculture, and lecture halls, a conference hall, laboratories, administrative office and staff room for the Faculty of Engineering.

The estimated cost of these facilities is Rs. 600 million, which will be provided through grant assistance.

In addition to the physical infrastructure, the Government of India will also provide, through a reputed Indian institution, support for curriculum development, faculty exchanges, training and research.

A Project Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education and the Indian Deputy High Commissioner, would oversee the implementation of the Project.

The project will benefit students pursuing professional courses in Agriculture and Engineering by providing them better facilities and improved learning environment.

Announcing the grant assistance, the High Commission of India said in a release that the Government of India attaches high priority to the education sector and recognizing the immense potential that exists in the two countries to tap knowledge as a key driver of economic and social advancement, the two countries had agreed in 2010 to launch the "India - Sri Lanka Knowledge Initiative".

Some of the elements of this Initiative include expansion of India's scholarship programme (currently about 800 scholarships are available annually to Sri Lankan students); India's assistance to the Ten-year Presidential Initiative to steer Sri Lanka towards a Trilingual Society by 2020; setting up of the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS) at the University of Colombo; and India's assistance to the initiative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on promoting English and Information technology.

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