In an effort to strengthen Indo-Russian ties, the university communities of both the countries on Friday entered into a Memorandum of Interest (MOI) to establish a foundation for the formation of the Russian-Indian Association of Institutions of Higher Education.
Devang V. Khakhar, director, IIT Bombay and President of the Russian Rectors' Union VA Sadovnichiy, on behalf the universities' community, signed the MOI in the presence of President of India Pranab Mukherjee in Moscow.
The Association will be a non-profit organisation, uniting universities of Russia and India on a voluntary basis, IIT Bombay said in a press release on Saturday.
"The Association is a partnership between research and educational institutions in the Russian Federation and India, which will provide a unique forum to cooperate," said Khakhar.
It will facilitate research collaboration, faculty exchange and student exchange among the leading universities of both the countries.
"We look forward to the fruits of the collaboration in terms of the advancement of high-quality research and development, increased internationalisation of higher education and greater linkages between the two countries," Khakkar said.
Coordinated by IIT Bombay, the institutes and universities from India participating in the Association are IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and National Centre for Biological Sciences.
The efforts on the Russian side are coordinated by the Tomsk State University and include Saint-Petersburg State University, Far Eastern Federal University, Kazan (Volga region) Federal University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), Magnitogorsk State Technical University, National Research University "Higher School of Economics", National Research Technological University "Moscow Institute for Steel and Alloys", National Research Tomsk State University, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, National Research Nuclear University "Moscow Engineering Physics Institute" , Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Novosibirsk National Research State University, Samara State Aerospace University, Saint-Petersburg National Research University ITMO, Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University, and Ural Federal University.
IIT Bombay also signed bilateral MoUs with the National Research Tomsk State University, Saint-Petersburg State University and Skolkova Institute of Science and Technology Russia to encourage collaboration through faculty and student exchange programmes, joint research work and joint research supervision of research work, and joint conferences or symposia on subjects of mutual interests.
"The MoU will encourage students to take up research activities and work under the joint supervision of the both the reputed Institutions," said Professor Rajiv Dusane, dean of international relations, IIT Bombay.
The combined efforts on part of the leading universities of both the countries is aimed at providing the knowledge based economies with relevant human resources and scientific and technological platforms and at the same time contribute to internationalisation of scientific, educational, and technological components of the activity and promote humanitarian ties between the two countries.
IIT Bombay has enjoyed long association with Russia and erstwhile USSR as the former was established with a financial aid from USSR.