From L to R: Prof. R. Limbadri, Vice Chairman, Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE); Ajit Rangnekar, Director General, Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH); Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Govt. of Telangana; Janaka Pushpanathan, Director South India, British Council; and Andrew Fleming, Deputy High Commissioner to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, British High Commission signing the MoU
In February 2022, a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the British Council and the Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH), the nodal agency of the Hyderabad Science and Technology Cluster. The overarching goal under the MoU is to foster new partnerships between universities, research institutions, and centres of excellence in the UK and in Telangana in the fields of aerospace, defence, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture, and sustainability. Initiatives that bolster innovation and entrepreneurship are also in the pipeline, such as sharing best practices and developing courses for skill-building.
The MoU is the latest among a number of partnerships between Telangana and the UK which have tangibly strengthened education in the state and opened up opportunities for greater international exposure for researchers and innovators.
In 2018, the Telangana government and British Council signed an MoU to strengthen education and cultural co-operation between the countries. In 2020, the Telangana and Welsh governments signed an MoU under which two Welsh universities are working with two Telangana universities to enhance the latter’s arts and commerce curriculums, in an initiative that is set to be extended to over 1,000 colleges, thereby impacting 8 lakh students. In 2021, Lord Tariq Ahmad, the UK Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, during his visit to Hyderabad, recognised Telangana’s rich innovation and education ecosystem and oversaw an agreement between the University of Bolton in the UK and WE Hub in Hyderabad to enable WE Hub’s women entrepreneurs to expand into UK markets.
These are only a few of the many collaborations between Telangana and the UK over the past decade, some of which have taken place as part of the larger tradition of mutually beneficial partnerships between India and the UK since 2006 under the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) and other programmes.
Speaking of the great potential in this latest February 2022 agreement, Shri Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary to the Government of India, said in a comment to RICH, "Telangana is India’s youngest state, but also the most advanced and progressive; internationalisation is in Telangana’s DNA. Our vision for the state of Telangana is to be full of opportunities for its youth. We are glad to have found a partner in the UK that understands our philosophy and is able to work with us to achieve our vision."
RICH, through its role as the nodal agency of the Hyderabad Science and Technology Cluster, has been key in helping Telangana realise the vision that Shri Ranjan refers to. With its vast experience in enabling networking and resource access, particularly in the areas in which this latest MoU is focused, RICH is in a unique position to bring the benefits of the MoU to Telangana.
Images for representation purposes only
Shri Ajit Ranganekar, Director of RICH, says, "Our objective is to make Telangana a preferred location for academic partnerships for the life sciences, agriculture, and sustainability. Our partnership with the British Council is an initiative towards this objective and is aimed at creating synergies between the UK and India. Through these partnerships we hope to promote innovations and entrepreneurship in these sectors and create impact not just at a national, but a global level."
The UK and India have been partners in progress for decades, supporting each other’s changing visions in education, arts, culture, and business. This new MoU under the ambit of the Science and Technology Clusters of India will deepen UK–India ties, broadening the scope of association between the two countries, expanding the horizons for education, research, and innovation in Telangana.