Now, you can research in nano-technology, get yourself a MBA (Masters of Business Administration) in viticulture and a International Chefs Diploma. All this courtesy, nine Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) signed between Maharashtra's educational institutions and universities based in Ontario, Canada on Thursday morning.
"India is hugely important for Ontario since it has a big population of Indian descent. The country has one of the world's leading economy and the phenomenal rise of the middle class here provides larger opportunities in both education and business," said Philip Steenkamp, Deputy Minister of Ontario province who along with a 100-member delegation is on a trade mission to India.
With India slated as the 'next China' and the 'next great economic power in Asia', universities in Ontario have decided to invest in exchange programmes and business activities in India.
So it is wine production that got Brock University (BU) and the Yeshwantrao Chavan Maharashta Open University to join hands. Both the universities will develop a curriculum for joint Master in Business Administration production in Wine Production.
"Wine making is a biotech industry with aspects such as fermenting and wine ageing. The MBA will deal with the business of wine making and wine market. Through the programme as well as student and faculty exchange, we are looking at serving the wine industry in Ontario and India," said Jack Lightstone, BU president and vice-chancellor.
Perhaps, the highest number of MoUs signed was by the Indian Institute of Technology — Bombay (IIT-B) with University of Waterloo (UW) where 25 faculty members are IIT graduates, York University and McMaster University in areas of research in nano-technology, overall engineering and science and management, humanities and biological sciences.
IIT-B Dean of Alumni and International Relations Professor Pradipta Banerji said: "We have had interactions on individual levels. But now institutions are going to work together. So our research students and faculty members will go back and forth."
David Johnston, vice-chancellor of UW added: "Six students each from both institutions will be on campus for durations ranging from four months to one year and joint degrees will be awarded."
The University of Pune and St Xavier's College also signed MoUs with York University.
With a 4.5 lakh-odd population of Indian origin in Toronto, Anne Sado, president of George Brown College (GBC) said there is great interest and demand for Indian cuisine.
Therefore, for two semesters from August 2007, 25 students each from and Mumbai's Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition will swap colleges. "That will call for more Indian restaurants and work placement as well; something that the MoU will help," she said.