India And Washington University St. Louis Team Up For Social Justice Partnership

India And Washington University St. Louis Team Up For Social Justice Partnership

We aim to encourage research, capacity building and educate the next generation of global leaders in the fields of inclusion, diversity, equity, allyship and social justice.

IANSUpdated: Sunday, April 28, 2024, 05:10 PM IST
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India And Washington University St. Louis Team Up For Social Justice Partnership | File

The Washington University in St. Louis and India's Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment have finalised a partnership for academic research, student exchange and generating global leaders in different fields of social justice, according to top officials.

The wide-ranging tie-up for a research partnership was proposed in a meeting here between Union MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale and Director of Advancement, International Programs, Eric Yin, of the 171-year-old Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

At least 26 Nobel laureates have conducted significant portions of their award-winning and globally acclaimed research work at this leading private university, established in 1853, officials said.

"Through this partnership, we aim to encourage research, capacity building and educate the next generation of global leaders in the fields of inclusion, diversity, equity, allyship and social justice," Union Minster Athawale told IANS, giving a sneak peek into the plans.

This cooperation would attempt to strengthen bonds with India through collaborations with the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, on the lines of the Washington University in St. Louis’ academic tie-up with IIT-Bombay.

Among the highlights would be a study programme that would be designed for around 100-200 students of Masters in Social Work (MSW) across various institutions here, undertaking their final year studies at the Washington University in St. Louis campus in Missouri.

There would be an exchange program in which the research students could spend 6-12 months both in India and the USA campuses to understand the realities of social excellence in both countries, said Union Minster Athawale.

Yin said that for many decades, the Washington University in St. Louis' MSW program has ranked at No. 1 or No. 2 in global rankings.

He said the varsity’s Brown School offers courses with rigorous research training, leading to a doctoral degree in Social Work (since 1952) and Public Health Sciences (since 2014), preparing the scholars for good academic careers in top universities.

Union Minister Athawale said the Washington University in St. Louis has offered scholarships to deserving Indian students which in turn would support India’s Social Justice Department that extends similar benefits to the economically deprived communities.

“Our proposed partnership with Washington University in St. Louis will boost our efforts in creating an environment where economically and socially backward students along with persons with disabilities can thrive and gain the benefits of education in the world's best schools and research institutions,” he added.

The Union Minister further said that also on the cards is an India-US Centre that will provide various services and serve as a hub for skill development, promoting self-reliance and resulting in empowerment, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Besides the Brown School, Yin urged India to explore the academic and research opportunities available at its other prominent campuses, like the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, School of Law, Olin Business School, and others for the benefit of Indian students.

After the successful discussions in Mumbai, Union Minister Athawale said he is likely to attend a major conference on Social Justice realities planned at the Washington University in St. Louis in July-August this year.

He explained that his Ministry facilitates international scholarships for the poor, the tribals, the Dalits, and children of farm workers or traditional artisans to obtain world-class higher education in national or international universities and will now seek to tap India Inc. for CSR funds for similar initiatives.

Last year, of the 125 students awarded international scholarships, 115 went to SC students, 6 to different categories of tribals, and 4 to children of farmers or traditional artisans, including 30 per cent women.

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