India-US discuss education cooperation

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 25, 2013 16:55 hrs

New Delhi, June 25 (IBNS) Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister M.M. Pallam Raju has said that India and US have great potential to expand co-operation in the education sector.

Addressing India-US Dialogue in New Delhi on Tuesday, Raju gave road map for the collaboration.

It includes promoting institution to institution ties; deepening co-operation in R&D; encouraging faculty exchanges; and development of teachers.

The blue print also includes promoting a two-way student exchange, skill development and give thrust to on-line education such as Massive Open On-Line Courses (MOOCs).

Sharing HRD Ministry's vision of education system, he said: "We wish to make skill development integral part of the country's education system."

He thanked the US for crystallizing the ministry's strategy for institutionalizing the community colleges in India.

Laying stress on innovation and entrepreneurship, Raju said: "It will help us to transform education institutions into engines of growth."

Expressing satisfaction over the previous Higher Education Dialogue between the two countries, the Minister said that the decision taken earlier has fructified into concrete results in the form of the Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative, the Raman Fellowship which provides for training of Indian scholars in the prestigious US institutions, co-operation in Community colleges, MOOCs, Cyber Systems and the Connect-India Programme which seeks to facilitate American scholars to visit India.

Speaking on the occasion, the US Secretary for the State, John Kerry appreciated India for making education as a Right.

Describing the goal set by the Ministry in education sector as challenging, he said US is willing to forge partnership in various fields.

He said that the community colleges are the life line of education in USA.

He also stressed the need for people to people exchange.

Highlighting the role of technology in promoting education, Kerry underlined the need for further promotion of research by two countries.

Earlier, Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur said that quality of education in India is a concern and "we seek co-operation of US".

He said India proposes to raise the country's Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education from 18.1% at present to 25.2% by 2017 and reach the target of 30% GER by 2020.

"The skill development and vocational education should be, in my view, an integral part of our education system and the inclusive role of business and industry in this effort would be of great relevance," he said.

Earlier, four agreements were signed. IIT-Delhi and University of Nebraska on the Cyber Systems, IIT-Bombay and edX on Massive Open Online Courses, AICTE and American Association of Community Colleges and ITM group with Montgomery Colleges.

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