Indian students constitute the second largest market for many international study destinations and for decades, a constant worrying factor for the Indian government has been losing its best minds to the West.
But now India has embarked on an exciting journey to convert its brain drain into brain gain by attracting expertise and investment in higher education through US-India Knowledge Exchange. And now, India is investing $20 million to create ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ hubs in higher education institutions that bring American universities to its campus.
USIKE was launched in June 2017 at Georgetown University in Washington DC to strengthen the strategic partnership between the US and India through collaboration in higher education, research on key issue areas, and people-to-people linkages. For the US, such collaborations with India will help offset its losses in the international education sector.
While Open Doors report that international students contributed $42.4 billion (up from $39bn in 2016) to the US economy in 2017, market share has been slipping. So it comes as no surprise that the US State Department has now launched Partnership 2020: Leveraging US-India Cooperation in Higher Education, which focuses on greater collaboration between the two countries.

Adrian Mutton, founder and CEO of Indian market entry facilitator, Sannam S4 – and the pioneer of the USIKE – says that “the potential of cross-border collaboration, higher education reform in India and significant talent pools for future projects provided impetus to the Department of State to launch a project that focuses on these very themes”.
USIKE’s stakeholders include Thomas Vajda, acting deputy assistant secretary Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs; Nilkanth Avhad, counselor of Economics, Indian Embassy to the United States of America; Venkatesh Kumar, national coordinator, RUSA Chair, and professor & chairperson for the Centre for Public Policy & Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO of the US India Strategic Partnership Forum.
Aghi believes that “education is a natural area of the partnership between the US and India” and says that USISPF is committed to “building ties” between educational institutions in the two countries.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hubs

An important product of this collaboration is the 10 ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ hubs that India will be funding at the rate of $2 million each. This $20 million investment promises to create a close university-university collaboration on knowledge and involve sector specific industries to share their expertise.

Read more : Ruhi Khan : The PIE News : 18 February 2019