Shimla: The Army Training Command (ARTRAC), one of the seven commands of the Indian Army, on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six Private Universities in Himachal Pradesh to provide higher education and skill programmes for serving army personnel.

The MoUs were signed with Shoolini University, Chitkara University, Maharaja Agrasen University, Eternal University, Career Point University and Jaypee University under the aegis of Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission (HP-PERC).

Chief of Staff, ARTRAC, Lt Gen J.S Sandhu signed the MoUs on behalf of the Army. Chairman of HP-PERC, Maj Gen Atul Kaushik (retd) was present at the ceremony.

Gen Sandhu thanked the Vice-Chancellors and management of private universities for the offer and said its outcome would be dependent on the implementation of the proposals. He asked them to get down to brass tacks to make the scheme a success.

The MoUs will provide the scope of the academic and research cooperation between the Army and the private universities. These include efforts to promote and facilitate the exchange of information on educational programmes run by these institutions as part of their on-campus and off-campus programmes and on research and innovation currently undertaken by these universities.

The Army has agreed to sponsor officers to undergo educational programmes in these universities. The MoUs also provide collaborative research and innovation in areas of mutual interest in basic and applied sciences, physical sciences, engineering, management, social sciences.

Maj General Kaushik said that the pioneering agreements between the army and the private universities would prove a path-breaking move. He expressed that the initiative would prove very useful to the serving officers who can also benefit from it after their retirement.

He said the agreements provide a broad approach to further catalyse synergy between Army and Academia in the field of research and higher education.