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Study funds

New Delhi, Jan. 29: The Planning Commission has set up a committee to suggest an increase in corporate funding for higher education and research.

Such funding, mostly seen in developed countries, has remained low in India. The government has so far been the main source of funds for the sector but it is now finding it difficult given the scale of expansion required.

The committee, headed by N.R. Narayanamurthy, will develop a framework for engagement with the corporate sector. Increased funding could go towards enhancing the quality of research in educational institutions.

The step is significant in the context of corporate houses’ donations to foreign institutions. In the last few years, the Tata Group has donated $50 million to Harvard University and the Mahindra group $10 million.

The committee will suggest how domestic institutions can get more donations and endowment funds from corporate houses. This will help plan the growth of higher education and research in the 12th Plan period and address the lack of trained and qualified manpower.

Over the past decade, some corporate houses have come forward and set up institutions. But there is no structured framework to enable them to invest in education, a source said.