GIAN attracts foreign faculty, but just in tech institutes

The firm, a part of Australia's leading telecommunications and media services company Telstra Corporation, was granted ILD (International Long Distance), NLD (National Long Distance) and ISP (Internet Service Provider) licences in October 2011.

Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), the much-touted programme to attract foreign faculty to teach for a term in India, is slowly finding its feet but primarily in IITs, NITs and techical education.

 Only in four institutes-NIT, Patna, Jamia Millia Islamia, IIT, Kharagpur and IIT, Gandhinagar-foreign faculty is teaching non-science courses. In NIT, Patna a course on conservation and architectural heritage of 19th and 20th century is being taught by a foreign faculty. In Jamia, a course on ‘Religious Fundamentalism in a Global Perspective: Islam, Christianity and Judaism’ will start from next week. In IIT, Kharagpur a course is already underway on planning and management of cultural heritage sites.
 In Gandhinagar, a course is being taught on 3D digitisation for cultural heritage. Overall, 297 courses have been approved by the apex body to be taught by foreign faculty. Proposal for 140 courses sent by various institutions/universities have been rejected. As of early February, 88 courses were sent for review. An integral component of GIAN is to make available courses offered by foreign teachers and 21 of them have been uploaded for wider dissemination. In case of 32 courses, confirmation to spend one term in India is awaited from foreign teachers. While in five cases, foreign faculty has declined to come.
 The Centre will spend $8,000 on each teacher for a term. Twelve courses are being taught by foreigners in IIT, Kharagpur, on subjects ranging from orthopaedic biomechanics to robotics. Among IIMs, the ones in Ranchi and Kozhikode have attracted foreign faculty. While students of IIM, Ranchi, are taking a course on sports and entertainment marketing, in Kozhikode a course is being taught on impersonal, interpersonal and hyperpersonal communication at work. Universities like Hari Singh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, an MP university, Tezpur University and Central University of Gujarat have also opted for foreign faculty.

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