Speeding up the establishment of a 'Category-1' centre in India was a key priority of the United Nations educational arm and modalities of the project are likely to be completed by this year, UNESCO's top official said here today.
The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, the Centre's name, will be Asia's first Category-I institute, the proposal for which was approved by the world body last year.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, today met Minister of External Affairs S M Krishna and Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal on her first official visit to India, and said the two sides had agreed to expedite the process of establishing the institute.
"We agreed with the minister to move quickly on it... By the year end, I think we will work out all modalities of establishing the centre," she told reporters here.
Bokova said the setting up of the centre, which will be the 12th Category-I institute and the first one in Asia, was an institutional goal but also a "strong political message".
The centre will help in the conceptualisation, design and formulation of UNESCO's programmes, including regional and sub regional strategies in the area of education.
Bokova, who congratulated India for enacting the Right to Education Act and said: "I do believe India can realise the goal of primary education for all by 2015".