Officials at the signing of the memorandum of understanding between MBRSG and TCS at India Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) — a leading multinational digital services organisation based in India — to ensure bilateral support on various issues from agile government to good governance, education, research and executive training.

Through the agreement, MBRSG will be part of the TCS Academic Co-Innovation Network (COIN). TCS COIN’s main purpose is to support its stakeholders through open innovation. COIN operates on two fronts: Academic (research collaborations) and Emerging Technology (technology collaborations). As part of the collaboration, MBRSG and TCS are also offering scholarships to enable knowledge-sharing between the government and private sectors. TCS will sponsor one scholarship for a deserving Emirati student of MBRSG — known as the ‘TCS UAE Innovation Scholarship’ — while MBRSG will be offering a scholarship of its own for one deserving TCS employee.

The MOU was signed on Monday at the India Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai. Abdulla Bin Zayed Alfalasi, Chairman of the MBRSG Board of Trustees Chairman and Director General of the Dubai Government Human Resources Department (DGHR); Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai attended the signing of the MOU. Other senior representatives of MBRSG who attended the programme included Dr Ali Bin Sebaa Al Marri, executive president, Prof. Raed Awamleh, dean, and Prof. Melodena Stephens, professor of Innovation Management and master of Innovation Management (MIM) Programme Coordinator at MBRSG. From TCS, Sumanta Roy, vice-president and regional head for Middle East Africa (MEA), Ajay Singh, region head for UAE, Kuwait and Oman, Dr Supriya Kummamuru, chief technology officer attended the ceremony.

Leadership initiatives to be rolled out

Commenting on the significance of the agreement, Dr Al Marri said: “As the top institution focusing on governance and public policy in the Arab world, MBRSG rolled out a commendable portfolio of programmes and initiatives to train and empower forward-thinking leaders and enable governments to be more agile and better-equipped to not only face future challenges, but also seize promising opportunities.” He added: “Both, MBRSG and Tata Consulting Services have extensive expertise in their respective fields. We have a lot to offer one another.”

In quest of knowledge

Roy commented: “We at TCS believe in pushing the boundaries when it comes to innovation and knowledge-building. Today, we have jointly pledged to provide rewarding scholarships for candidates from both organisations, alongside a mutual commitment to create opportunities for knowledge-sharing between our entities. Today, TCS has 500,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries. Our scholarship will build on this by promoting an innovative culture among students in the UAE. We hope this collaboration makes sure that learning is a lifelong pursuit.”

Empowering future leaders

Professor Stephens noted: “MBRSG has developed a series of courses and programmes to train and empower the leaders of tomorrow and promote innovation as a core value in government work environments. To that end, the school is always looking to expand its network of partners and collaborators. We look forward to using our knowledge and innovation programmes, combined with TCS’s extensive insight and capabilities, to offer talented aspiring leaders the opportunity to hone their skills and embrace innovation.”

Partnering to advance policy

Alongside the scholarship, TCS will apply its expertise to support the school’s Master of Innovation Management (MIM) Programme and the Agile Government System Initiative. TCS will provide research and academic guidance while also conducting courses that leverage its Design Thinking capabilities and other related innovation models applied today across the group’s ecosystem.

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To help prepare students for the future of industries in an increasingly digitised world, and in line with the transformation of government services, the opportunities will introduce MBRSG students to various global government innovation models, spotlighting real-world examples of how institutions and nations can drive innovation.

Beyond the various advantages for students, under the Agile Government Systems Initiative, TCS and MBRSG will collaborate to develop a Policy Sandbox for Good Governance. The two entities will also work to produce joint policy reports, with TCS contributing towards the training of external stakeholders.