Global Initiatives of Academic Networks (GIAN)

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Union Cabinet has approved a programme titled Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education aimed at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs internationally to encourage their engagement with the institutes of Higher Education in India so as to augment the country's existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reform, and elevate India's scientific and technological capacity to global excellence. GIAN is envisaged to catalyse higher education institutions in the country, and that it will initially include all IITs, IIMs, Central Universities, IISc Bangalore, IISERs, NITs and IIITs subsequently cover good State Universities where the spinoff is vast. GIAN is an evolving scheme which will initially include participation of foreign faculty in Institutes as Distinguished / Adjunct / Visiting faculty / Professors of Practice, etc., to participate in delivering Short or Semester-long Courses. Other activities will be included in due course.
Committees and Coordinators
  1. MHRD has already constituted a GIAN Implementation Committee headed by Secretary (HE), MHRD to finalize and approve the GIAN implementation through courses and also decide on budget allocation.
  2. There will be a set of Brand Ambassadors for GIAN consisting of highly eminent academicians who are willing to advise the GIAN programme and project it internationally. They will be invited to this Committee on approval of the GIAN Implementation and will participate as Lead Speakers / Distinguished faculty in GIAN activities. They will also help encourage eminent researchers and scientists to participate in the GIAN programme. They can also submit special proposals for GIAN activities for approval of the Implementation Committee.
  3. In order to receive, shortlist and recommend proposals for various topics, there will initially be twelve Sectional Committees in the following areas: (i) Physical Sciences (ii) Chemical, Bio-Chemical & Material Sciences (iii) Mathematical & Computer Sciences (iv) Life Sciences, Medicine & Healthcare (v) Electronics, Electrical, Information & Communication Technology (vi) Mechanical Sciences & Infrastructure (vii) Earth & Environment Sciences (viii) Management (ix) Social Sciences and Law (x) Humanities & Liberal Arts (xi) Architecture, Design, Planning and Heritage (xii) Other Categories / Interdisciplinary categories. Other areas can be included in future and the Sections can be reorganized if needed. Each Sectional Committee will consist of five to eight members including a Chairperson. The Sectional Committees will arrange for review of proposals, consolidate the reviews and make recommendations to the Implementation Committee. The Sectional Committee will be approved by the GIAN Implementation Committee. The Sectional Committee may also arrange for special activities through courses, lecture series, workshops, etc with the approval of the Implementation Committee.
  4. There will be a Pool of Reviewers who, if needed, will review proposals submitted for approval under GIAN and give their recommendations to the Sectional Committee. Each Sectional Committee will identify reviewers for their Section from experts in the country and abroad.
  5. There will be a National Coordinating Institute for GIAN. There will also be Group Coordinators for groups of Institutions namely (i) IITs / NITs / IIITs / IIEST (ii) IISc / IISERs (iii) Central and other National / State Universities and Law Schools (iv) Management Schools. Subsequently more Group Coordinators will be identified. Head of the Institute will be the Coordinator and the Institute will identify a Co-Coordinator to take care of the GIAN coordination activities. Their role will be to create/manage national and group portals for GIAN activities, maintain archives, disseminate GIAN through workshops, enable interaction and coordination among institutes for proposing joint programmes, develop credit sharing of GIAN initiatives among institutions, conduct workshops for Local Institute Coordinators, etc. Initially IIT Kharagpur is designated as National Coordinating Institute and Group Coordinating Institute for group (i), IISC Bangalore is designated the Group Coordinating for group (ii), JNU for group (iii) and IIM Bangalore for group (iv).
  6. There will be a Pool of Distinguished International Faculty identified by the GIAN Implementation Committee / Sectional Committees / National or Group Coordinating Institutes / various International Academies / Missions abroad and approved by the GIAN Implementation Committee. These are eminent international experts who have agreed to participate in the GIAN programmes at regular / annual / bi-annual periods. Their programmes will be developed by the National and Group Coordinating Institutes or Members of the GIAN Implementation Committee.
  7. There will be a list of Approved Institutions for submitting proposals under GIAN. Initially all IITs, IIITs, NITs, IISc, IISERs, IIEST, National Law Schools, IIMs, Central Universities and State Universities who have received A category accreditation will be considered as Approved Institutions. Other Institutions will be included in due course. Each Approved Institute will have a Local Institute Coordinator approved by the Head of the Institute who will be the Institute nodal contact for the GIAN activities. The approved Institute organizing an event will be termed Host Institute.
Proposal Submission and Selection
Proposals will be submitted on-line by the Local Institute Coordinator of an approved host Institute through the National GIAN portal in the prescribed proforma. Each proposal will be submitted to a Sectional Committee. The proposing Institution will ensure that the International Faculty can communicate in English or a suitable language that is clearly the appropriate medium of instruction for the said course. The courses will primarily be for credit and cover 10 to 14 hours for a typical 1 credit course over a period of at least one week covering 5 working days and 20 to 28 hours for a 2 credit course over a period of at least 2 weeks covering 10 working days and have regular evaluation mechanisms. For alternative credit structures, such normalized credit equivalence will be explained in the proposal. The proposer is expected to be aware that if the proposal is selected then the International Faculty is expected to accept to participate.

The Chairperson of the Sectional Committee will designate all or some members of the Sectional Committee to review the proposal and give their views. He may, if felt needed, also arrange for selection of reviewers and obtaining the reviews. The recommendation will be finalized by the Chairperson of the Sectional Committee. Selected proposals will be forwarded to the GIAN Implimentation Committee. The process will be made on-line. The GIAN Implimentation Committee will develop methods for final approval of the proposals. In some cases, proposals may directly come to the GIAN Implimentation reputed sources like National and Foreign Academies, Embassies, Government, etc. or may be initiated by the GIAN Implimentation Committee itself. Such proposals will be submitted to the portal either by a member of the GIAN Implimentation Committee or through the National or Regional Coordinator. Each approved programme will be publicized on-line in the GIAN portal.
Conduct of Courses
Each approved GIAN activity / course will be displayed in the GIAN portal. It will be the responsibility of the Host Institution to arrange for the conduct of the courses. This includes call for participation, registration, selection of participants, collection and disbursement of funds, contact and arrangements for national and international experts, arrangements for classes, accommodation, provision of certificates, conduct of examinations if any, credit transfer issues, creation of content and archival / maintenance of repository, linking with GIAN portal, submission to National Digital Library, etc. Each host Institution will maintain their local GIAN portal which will be connected to the main GIAN portal.

It is expected that each such course will be transmitted on-line and/or video recorded for others to view later through the local and national GIAN portal and the National Digital Library. All permissions for the same will be taken by the Host Institution. Typically many such courses may offer not only participation certificates but also allow participants to acquire credits. The Host Institution will allow for transfer of credits if required by institutions of participating institutions. Guidelines for credit sharing will be developed in due course by GIAN Implimentation Committee for consideration by various Institutes.

The courses offered by a host institution should be made available for participation from other Institutions. In general it is not expected that more than 50% participants will be from the Host Institution. For courses offering credits, it should follow all standard norms of the Host Institution including continuous evaluation through assignments, quizzes, etc. and examinations like class tests, terminal examinations. Proposals can have scope for inclusion of Teaching Assistants. Results should be declared within one month of the completion of the course. Priority should be given to students taking the course for credit than those who only participate without credits. Other details will be defined in due course by a suitable Sub-Committee designated by the GIAN Implimentation Committee.
Development of Repository
Host Institution will seek prior approval from all speakers for dissemination, archival and creation of repository of the activities conducted. A digital repository of the activities under GIAN will be kept. All permitted courses will be archived by the host institution and made available for dissemination. One copy will also be provided to the National Digital Library. Subsequently these may be used as part of various activities under various on-line programmes of MHRD like SWAYAM.
Funding of GIAN Activities
A lump-sum amount of upto US$ 8000 for 12 to 14 hours of contact and upto US$ 12000 for 20 to 28 hours of contact can be paid to the foreign experts covering their travel and honorarium. Local hospitality will be arranged by the Host Institution. The duration (number of weeks/days) can be mutually decided by the host institution and the visiting faculty.

In the meanwhile the National Coordinator will be allowed to spend Rs 1.0 crore for developing the Portal and other coordination and initial course related activities. Each Group Coordinators will be allowed to spend Rs 50 lakhs each from their Plan grant for initiation of activities of the group activities.

The funding for the courses by the Institutes shall be partially supported through various schemes including but not limited to the Plan / Non-Plan Funds of the Institute, other designated funds from TEQIP, UGC, AICTE, DST, DSIR and other Government entities, sponsorships from various agencies like industry / foundations, fees from participants and other sources. It is expected that summer and winter vacations will be well utilized for such activities to enable wider participation from other places.