New Delhi: The University of Chicago, opened its Delhi centre on Saturday to boost research and training collaborations with India in diverse disciplines.

“The opening of the Delhi centre is a very important…because of what it represents about our commitment to academic work in India and with India, and because of how it reflects the university’s thinking about the importance of its global activities," Robert J. Zimmer, president of the university said in New Delhi.

The centre, the third outside the US, after Beijing and Paris, has been built with an initial investment of $3.45 million.

The centre will promote scholarship and teaching under three broad umbrellas: business, economics, law and policy; science, energy, medicine and public health; and culture, society, religion and the arts. It will represent all parts of the university, including professional divisions, the university said in a separate statement.

The centre will not, however, grant degrees. “We would like to enhance our engagement with the business houses, government and educational institutions. Though we are not offering any degrees, short-term certificate courses will be offered in future. This will be a focal point of our engagement in south Asia," said Gary Tubb, faculty director of the Delhi centre.

US ambassador to India Nancy Powell said that University of Chicago opening a centre in India only reiterates how education is important for US-India relationship. “Education is important for our relationship," said Powel, adding that exiting education ties with India like higher education dialogue, and Obama-Singh 21st century Knowledge Initiative announced in 2009 by US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh is on the right track. She said the number of students’ visa applications from India is going up and currently more than 100,000 Indian students are studying in the US.