The alleged delay of Jamia Millia Islamia to activate MoU between it and three Palestinian Universities signed during President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Palestine in October 2015 has not gone down well with the Ministry of External Affairs.
The MEA has pulled up the only Central University with minority character and sought and explanation for the inordinate delay. A letter has been written by Minister of External Affairs MJ Akbar to Jamia Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmad over the issue, persons familiar with the developments told ET.
“During my recent visit to Palestine, it was brought to my notice that no follow-up action has been initiated on the MoUs signed between JMI and Palestinian Universities. Over a year has passed since it was signed but Jamia has not shown any inclination to activate this MoU. The Palestinian side is keen to move forward but apathy seems to be a hurdle. We would like to know, soon, as to why there has been no movement,” Akbar wrote to Jamia V-C, claimed the ET report.
It is understood that Jamia signed MoUs with Al Quds, Al Istiklal and Hebron universities that involved capacity building initiatives as well as academic exchanges during Mukherjee’s visit. Support to Palestine’s academic capacity building has been a priority for India.
Jamia V-C Ahmad told OKHLATIMES.COM that we don’t have additional funds and we have written to the concerned ministry. ET reported quoting a senior university official that the iconic university that has been constantly highlighting the Palestinian cause the university is fully committed to implement MoUs signed with its Palestinian counterparts.
The Palestinian education minister is expected to undertake a trip to India in the near future as a result of the first ever joint commission meeting this October.
“The visit could be a potential inflection point for the education sector cooperation between the two countries,” Akbar wrote in his letter to Jamia VC. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also expected to visit India in 2017 in keeping with the Modi government’s West Asia outreach, reported ET.
“Capacity building and academic exchanges with friendly countries form an important pillar of our foreign policy. In this regard, JMI, as a premier university in India, has entered into MoU/Agreements with several foreign universities…without follow up, all agreements become infructuous…Please let me know why the MoUs are at a virtual standstill,” Akbar’s letter said.