India-US pledge to take education coop forward

India Friday said it will set up a "higher education platform" aimed at taking forward the dialogue process with the US on enhancing collaboration in research, skill development and student and faculty exchange.

Washington: India Friday said it will set up
a "higher education platform" aimed at taking forward the
dialogue process with the US on enhancing collaboration in
research, skill development and student and faculty exchange
as the first ever India-US education summit wrapped up here.

In a joint statement on higher education cooperation
released at the conclusion of the summit, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton and Minister for Human Resources Development
Kapil Sibal agreed to make the higher education dialogue an
annual bilateral event to "map out strategies for partnership
in the field of education" between the two countries.

The dialogue, which would be held alternately in the US
and India, should "identify areas for mutually beneficial
exchanges and provide a platform for intense and meaningful
collaboration among academia, private sector and government on
both sides," the joint statement said.

India announced its intention to set up an "India-US
higher education platform as a means to pursue these goals,"
with Sibal pointing out that the dialogue process has to be
managed "effectively".

"We want a physical set up with a portal through which we
at our end can carry the dialogue forward," he later told
reporters at a reception hosted by Indian Ambassador to the US
Nirupama Rao.

He said the platform would help identify and connect US
institutions with suitable Indian educational partners.

The two sides agreed to work together to ensure a
continued expanded US-India higher education dialogue with
representatives from government, academia and business that
would interact on a regular basis.
"Sibal and Clinton reaffirmed the strategic partnership
between India and the United States for meaningful dialogue,
cooperation, and engagement in the field of higher education,"
the statement added.

The countries will also join forces to promote strategic
institutional partnerships for strengthening and expansion of
collaboration in priority areas of higher education, including
science and engineering, social sciences, humanities, as well
as address societal challenges in areas such as cyber
security, energy, environment, health and agriculture, the
joint statement said.

Enhanced cooperation in the field of education between the
two would also include expansion in research and development,
fostering partnerships in vocational education and skills
enhancement, exploration of models for `educational
institutions for the 21st Century` and strengthening
programmes for student and faculty exchange.

PTI

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