Indian Express and Abbynews.com report that University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), Canada and The Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to “empower the rural entrepreneurs of North India.”
“India needs entrepreneurs at the grass roots level, and our partnership with CRRID allows us to fuel business start-ups and the development of SMEs outside the city centres, in the areas that need it most,” said Professor DJ Sandhu, UFV President’s Advisor.
A quick look at the university’s website to find out what the nature reveals some of the ways means of intervention this partnership will possibly employ.
…for example, students enrolled in UFV’s BBA degree at SDCC will be able to work with research faculty at CRRID to implement projects aimed at uplifting businesses involved in such industries as agriculture and agrifoods.
In a way this partnership is similar to Tata International Social Entrepreneurship Scheme (TISES), a partnership between TATA sons, UC Berkely and Cambridge University.
The new agreement also lays the foundation for educational, research and cultural linkages such as delivering short professional programs for industry and community development, engaging in research projects, and the exchange of research scholars, research materials and students.”
Clearly, international partnership between universities, businesses with society consciousness and research centers are fast moving from being “unique partnerships” to fast emerging way of social intervention. With this transition, the approving and appreciative comments will make way to probing questions targeted at the efficacy of such partnerships in making the desired impact. ThinkChange India has already raised one such question in one of its earlier posts on regarding TISES.