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Private universities in Himachal Pradesh will now offer higher education and skill development programmes to serving Army personnel.

Private universities in Himachal Pradesh will now offer higher education and skill development programmes to serving Army personnel. The Army Training Command (ARTRAC), one of the seven commands of the Indian Army, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect on Tuesday. 

The MoUs were signed with Shoolini University, Chitkara University, Maharaja Agrasen University, Eternal University, Career Point University and Jaypee University under the aegis of Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission (HP-PERC).

ARTRAC Chief of Staff Lt Gen JS Sandhu signed the MoUs on behalf of the Army. HP-PERC chairman Maj Gen Atul Kaushik (retd) was present at the ceremony.

Those who signed the MoUs on behalf of the universities included, Vishal Anand (Shoolini University), Varinder S Kanwar (Chitkara University), Rajendra Kumar Sharma (JayPee University), Dr Davinder Singh (Eternal University), Prof Kartar Singh Verma (Career Point University) and Mr Suresh Gupta (Maharaja Agrasen University).

Lt Gen Sandhu thanked the Vice-Chancellors and managements of private universities for the offer and said its outcome would be dependent on the implementation of the proposals. He asked them to get down to brass tacks to make the scheme a success.

The MoUs provide an opportunity for academic and research cooperation between the Army and private universities. These include promoting and facilitating the exchange of information on educational programmes conducted by these institutions. These on-campus and off-campus programmes are based on research and innovation being undertaken by these universities. 

The Army has agreed to sponsor officers to undergo educational programmes in these universities. The MoUs also provide collaborative research and innovation in areas of mutual interest in basic and applied sciences, physical sciences, engineering, management, social sciences.

Shoolini University, for instance, has offered over 50 PhD seats to serving Army officers in diverse subjects like Computer Science, Nano Technology, Journalism and Mass Communication, Basic and Applied Sciences and Liberal Arts.

The number of seats to be allotted to Army personnel will be over and above the sanctioned strength in each subject. All PhD vacancies under the MoU will be subject to the availability of guides in the respective centres or departments.

Maj General Kaushik (retd) said the pioneering agreements between the Army and private universities would prove to be a path-breaking move. The initiative would also be useful to the serving officers who can reap rich benefits from it after retirement, he opined.

He said the agreements provide a broad approach to further catalyse synergy between Army and academia in the field of research and higher education. The Vice-Chancellors and other senior functionaries of the six universities said they were looking forward to a valuable association with the serving Army officers.

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