Kerala seeks US support to establish centres of excellence in higher education sector

The CPI(M)-led government in Kerala has sought US support for establishing centres of excellence in the higher education sector in the state. That apart, the government is looking for a collaboration with US national public health agency Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the state’s proposed centre for disease control.

An official communication from CMO said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday held a meeting with US Consul General (Chennai) Judith Ravin and sought American cooperation in the state’s higher education and health sectors.

It said the Consul General has communicated American interest to cooperate with Kerala’s projects in the higher education sector. The Consul General has ensured academic support for Kerala’s efforts to ensure quality higher education. The CM has sought US support to establish centres of excellence in the state’s higher education centre, particularly in areas such as pharmaceutical and artificial intelligence.

When Vijayan pointed out that Kerala is the first state in the country to establish a Digital University, Ravin promised to link it with a higher education centre in the US. Both discussed US partnership in Kerala’s proposed vaccine manufacturing unit.

CPI(M) early this month has released a roadmap for Kerala development, Nava Kerala mission, in which the party wanted to open up the state’s higher education and health sectors to private capital. The document calls for new centres of excellence in the public and private sectors and also based on the public-private participation model. This has been reckoned as a major shift in the policy of the CPI(M), which had been opposed to private investment in education.

The government bid to rope in the US in health and higher education sectors has come close on the heels of presenting the vision document in the party state conference held in Kochi, last month. The vision document of Nava Kerala has not been finally ratified by the LDF before being handed over to the Government for implementation.

It may be recalled that it was the CPI(M) that in 1997 scuttled the US-based Johns Hopkins University’s project to establish a Rs.700-crore institute in Kerala to promote multidisciplinary studies, research and training in public health.


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