Trump Signs Into Law Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative
It was written by civil rights icon John Lewis, and co-sponsored by Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera.
US President Donald Trump on Monday, 28 December, signed into law the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative that has paved new ways to study the work and legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
It was written by civil rights icon John Lewis, who passed away in July, and co-sponsored by Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera.
“The use of non-violent civil disobedience is a shared tactic that has played a key role in defeating social injustice in India, the United States, and in other parts of the world,” read a statement in the Bill.
Key features of the Gandhi-King Scholary Exchange Initiative?
- The bill seeks to set up exchange programmes for scholars and undergraduate and post-graduate students from the two countries on social justice and human rights and the Gandhi-King Global Academy within the US Institute of Peace.
- It also proposes setting up the US-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation to give out grants to NGOs in India for action on humanitarian, environmental, climate change and development issues.
- One of the features of the educational component, the "Gandhi King Scholarly Exchange Initiative," is the creation of an annual forum on the teachings of the two leaders.
- The new law also authorises the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to establish a US-India development foundation that would leverage the Indian private sector to address development priorities in India.
Allotment of Funding for the Gandhi-King Scholarly Initiative
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Bill would cost $51 million over five years.
The new law authorises $11 million a year through fiscal 2025 and $2 million for just FY 2021 for the Gandhi-King Global Academy, and $30 million for 2021 for the US-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation.
The development foundation would receive $15 million per year from 2022 through 2025 – but only if India's private sector commits to match US government contributions.
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