Meghalaya to sponsor students to study in German varsity

SHILLONG: The department of agriculture of the Meghalaya government is likely to sponsor students from the state to take up graduation and post-graduation courses in agriculture at Leibniz Universitat, Hannover, Germany. Chief minister Mukul Sangma has already held discussions with Erich Barke, president of the university, in this regard.

"Wrapping up a weeklong visit to Germany, an official delegation led by the chief minister agreed to develop a broad plan for partnership and a structural model for institutional development in areas of common interest that would set in motion a long-term collaboration between the government of Meghalaya and Leibniz Universitat, Hannover," an official statement said.

"The collaboration would include exchange of knowledge and technologies, capacity-building of officers, as well as establishing modern horticultural research facilities in Meghalaya. An agreement to this effect will be signed in due course after discussions on the specifics. A workshop is planned to be conducted in Meghalaya, preferably this year itself, to set the ball rolling," the release said.

It was also agreed, in principle, that the sponsoring of the first batch of students would start from the academic year 2014-16.

Sangma also met Matthias Pilz, director, German Research Centre on Comparative Vocational Education and Training (GREAT),University of Cologne, Germany, during which he highlighted the importance of vocational education and training to "ameliorate unemployment" among the youth of Meghalaya through a partnership between GREAT and the Meghalaya government. The aim is to provide quality training with the objective of creating a highly skilled youth workforce that can be meaningfully absorbed into the job spaces at the local, regional and even international levels.

According to the release, the CM highlighted the "strength of the state" to the authorities of the two German universities with regard to the large population of English-speaking youths in Mehgalaya. Sangma was felicitated by the Indian Association, Hannover, which conferred an honorary membership on him.