Education for All
India’s Infinity Group has recently unveiled plans for building an Education City in Bhutan worth Rs, 4,000 crore. The Group recently signed an agreement with Bhutan’s Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited to construct the 1,000-acre project in Chozum, situated between Thimphu and Paro. Bhutan enjoys positive bilateral relations with India and this project will further strengthen their ties. Bhutan will have a 51% share in the project while the Infinity Group will settle with a 49% share. The Indian Group is approaching leading universities in the UK, USA and Australia to set up their campuses in the Education City. UK’s Durham School is one of the first institutions to show interest at this offer.
India’s assistance will help Bhutan develop its educational system as it aims to achieve 70% literacy rate by 2014. Moreover, the Education City project will boost foreign investment to Bhutan. In 2011, World Bank as- sessed Bhutan for not being an investment friendly nation, which is why the country is making all efforts to attract foreign investment. The World Bank also cited lack of infrastructure in Bhutan as a major drawback. The Education City is expected to be a state-of-the-art facility that will make Bhutan a favorable investment destination.
The Education City represents a beacon of hope for Bhutan although there are concerns that the country is spending too much at a time when cost saving measures should be its priority. Some quarters of the Bhutanese government are concerned over India’s involvement in the project.