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India signs loan agreements worth $300 mn with World Bank

New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) India Wednesday signed loan agreements worth $300 million with the World Bank for meeting the shortage of faculty and upgrade standards of research and development in engineering and other technical institutes.

The agreements were signed by the officials of the government of India and the World Bank under the second technical education quality improvement project (TEQIP), a partnership between the human resources development ministry and the Bank.

In the first phase TEQIP had supported 127 public and private institutions by modernising classrooms, labs and workshops, providing up-to-date teaching materials and faculty and staff training.

The second phase will will support over 200 competitively selected engineering education institutions to produce higher quality and more employable engineers.

Some of these institutions inlcude NIT Rourkela, Orissa, College of Engineering Pune, Maharashtra, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, and BIT Mesra, Jharkhand.

It will also help these technical institutions launch more research and development programmes in collaboration with the industry.

‘This project will help India meet its growing demand for highly qualified engineers — a demand which has been growing parallel to its rapid economic expansion,’ said Roberto Zagha, World Bank country director in India.

Currently the employment rate in higher education is only 11 percent which has led to shortage of skills in sectors such as infrastructure, information technology, power and water.

World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, the International Development Association which provides interest free loans with 35-years to maturity and a 10-year grace period will provide the loan.

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