GUWAHATI: Alan Gemmell, OBE, Director British Council India and Dr. Tayek Talom, Director, Higher and Technical Education, Government of Arunachal Pradesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation, support the knowledge ambitions and economic growth of Arunachal Pradesh, on Sunday. The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, in Tawang, in the middle of the most celebrated tourism festival of the State, the Tawang Festival.
The overarching MoU celebrates the British Council’s 70th anniversary in India and seeks to strengthen the relationship for the next 70 years.
As an immediate result of this of this MoU, 50 faculty members from government higher education institutions will be trained by the British Council every year, starting in December 2018. Of these, 30 members will be from government colleges, 10 from governmental polytechnic institutes,eight from central institutions established in Arunachal and two from officers of the higher education administration. Further, 50 students of higher and technical education institutes will be trained by the British Council in English language skills, annually.
The MoU will also work towards improving English communication of Arunachal Pradesh’s civil servants, developing capacity-building initiatives in the State, supporting improvements in the teaching of Mathematics and Science, capacity-building programmes for faculty and senior administrators of higher education institutions and it will seek to increase student and academic mobility, for Arunachal Pradesh. The MoU also celebrates the rich cultural connections that Arunachal Pradesh has had with the UK, stated a release.
The British Council has had a long association with both Arunachal Pradesh and the Northeast. It recently signed a MoU with the North Eastern Council (NEC), to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation in all the eight States of the region.
Chief Minister Khandu said, “I am very happy that we signed this MoU with British Council which will enhance the opportunities for young people in education and culture from Arunachal Pradesh, connecting them to international expertise and ideas. I am grateful for the British Council’s initiative here in Arunachal and across the Northeast.”
Alan Gemmell, Director of the British Council in India, said, “I’m delighted to sign this agreement with the State of Arunachal Pradesh in the presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu. This new agreement will see us support his ambitions for young people in the State. We’ve been inspired by the vision the Chief Minister has for Arunachal and will work to support Arunachal’s world-class festivals such as Ziro and Tawang that promote the rich cultural heritage of the State globally. This MoU also supports the vision of the Chief Minister in enhancing human resource capacity building in higher education and subsequently in school education.”
Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director of the British Council in East and North East India, said: “As a result of today’s MoU, we will help create capacity-building programmes for faculty and senior administrators of higher education institutions and civil servants in Arunachal. Over the past few years, we have worked continuously with state governments to help develop the potential of the people of the Northeast, and promote cultural exchange between the UK and the Northeast. This year alone, we presented Premier Skills in Guwahati to train sportspersons, created a digital platform to showcase musicians from the Northeast on a global platform, and presented brilliant musician Nubya Garcia at Ziro Festival of Music.”
Earlier this year, British Council launched ‘Mix the City Northeast’ which gave 14 musicians access to an international platform and audience. This showcased the diversity of music and cultural influences from the country’s four metros, featured 14 exciting Northeast based musicians and bands including Lama Tashi from Arunachal Pradesh.
To strengthen employability and promote gender inclusion, British Council launched Premier Skills Guwahati earlier this year, in which UK Premier League coaches trained57 Indian football coaches from the Northeast, including Arunachal Pradesh.
The British Council’s ‘Crafting Futures’ initiative gave artisans from the Northeast access to a national platform, Lakme Fashion Week. In the sphere of education, British Council also offered scholarships to six women from the Northeast to pursue higher studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It creates friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. It is done by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries the Council works with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. The Council works with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year, the Council reaches to over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, the British Council is a UK charity governed by the Royal Charter and a UK public body.