The Ministry of Education and the US Department of State on Monday launched the India-US Working Group on Education and Skill Development with an aim to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field.
Neeta Prasad, Joint Secretary for International Cooperation, Ministry of Education; and Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, US Department of State, co-chaired the Working Groups from India and US respectively.
The establishment of the India-US Working Group on Education and Skill Development was announced by the leaders on the sidelines of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held between India and US in Washington DC in April last year.
Skilling and vocational education, certification and recognition, matchmaking between US and Indian higher educational institutions engaging with the private sector--- were among the themes discussed between the two sides.
"Both sides acknowledged the importance of skilling and vocational education in the industry centered era. Recognising the need to align skills training programs with industry requirements, both sides agreed to foster partnerships between educational institutions, industry stakeholders, and relevant government agencies. This collaboration aims to address skills gaps, enhance employability, and promote entrepreneurship in both the countries," a senior MoE official said.
"The delegations agreed to encourage and facilitate such partnerships to foster academic and cultural exchange, enhance educational quality, and promote innovation and knowledge-sharing. Both sides agreed to encourage greater inter-linkages amongst the educational institutions. Indian side proposed that developing joint/dual and twinning courses in areas of mutual interest could be explored," the official said.
According to MoE officials, the two sides acknowledged the importance of engagement with the private sector to align the education sector with the needs of the job market. "Both sides agreed to explore avenues to promote public-private partnerships in education and skill development initiatives," the official said.
Noting that student and faculty exchanges are at the heart of the knowledge partnership between both countries, the Indian side highlighted the need for expeditious visa issuance and reaffirmed their ongoing efforts on this issue.
"The delegations from both sides expressed their commitment to strengthening cooperation in education and skill development between India and US. The Joint Working Group agreed to continue regular meetings and explore concrete avenues to further advance education and skill development collaboration between India and US," the official said.