Active Stocks
Wed May 29 2024 10:03:22
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 175.05 0.11%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 316.55 1.20%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,513.05 -1.14%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 430.25 0.31%
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 942.35 -0.52%
Business News/ News / World/  India to push SAARC countries to restart funding of South Asian University
BackBack

India to push SAARC countries to restart funding of South Asian University

First proposed in 2005 by India, SAU was expected to become a model for regional educational collaboration. The university was to be jointly funded by all the eight members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

According to India’s Foreign Ministry, the capital expenditure for the construction of the university’s permanent campus was to be met entirely by India. (HT)Premium
According to India’s Foreign Ministry, the capital expenditure for the construction of the university’s permanent campus was to be met entirely by India. (HT)

New Delhi: India is embarking on a diplomatic push to get its neighbours to restart funding the cash-strapped South Asian University (SAU), which started its operations in 2010 in the national capital, according to persons aware of the matter.

First proposed in 2005 by India, SAU was expected to become a model for regional educational collaboration. The university was to be jointly funded by all the eight members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). According to India’s foreign ministry, the capital expenditure for the construction of the university’s permanent campus was to be met entirely by New Delhi. The operational expenditure, however, for SAU was to be met through a model of assessed contributions from member states.

“The percentage shares of Member States to the total budget under Phase I funding arrangement are as follows: Afghanistan - 3.83%, Bangladesh - 8.20%, Bhutan - 3.83%, India - 57.38%, Maldives - 3.83%, Nepal - 4.92%, Pakistan - 13.09%, and Sri Lanka - 4.92%," the ministry of external affairs informed the Lok Sabha in 2018. According to the university, the institution was also expected to eventually raise funds from outside donors, including financial and educational institutions.

However, political troubles, administrative chaos and a financial crunch have plagued the university. The university functioned without a regular president for four years until academic KK Aggarwal was appointed to the position in December 2023. The governing board of the university also met infrequently. The 11th meeting of the board took place in late 2023, six years after its previous meeting in 2017. Political tensions in the region, particularly between India and Pakistan, are believed to have played a role in hampering the functioning of SAU. This is despite the fact that the university is expected to function independently.

"The South Asian University (SAU) operates within the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the agreed upon formula for making contributions. Decisions regarding funding are made collectively by member countries and communicated through proper channels," the university said in response to a query from Mint.

According to the persons cited above, the infrequent meetings of the governing board posed problems for administering SAU and passing budgets. Added to this, funding from member countries has dried up. Although the university relies on funding from a number of South Asian countries, India has been the primary provider of funds to the SAU over the last two years, according to the persons cited above. Many member countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have been hit by financial crises and geopolitical uncertainty.

Queries emailed to the ministry of external affairs and the diplomatic missions of several SAARC member countries in New Delhi remained unanswered till press time.

You are on Mint! India's #1 news destination (Source: Press Gazette). To learn more about our business coverage and market insights Click Here!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 02 Apr 2024, 06:21 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You