HRD Min holds bilateral talks with Australia, co-chairs Education Council Meet

New Delhi: Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ held bilateral talks with Minister for Education of Australia, Dan Tehan to exchange views on future bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the field of education in New Delhi today. Speaking on the occasion Pokhriyal said that both the countries would deepen their relationship with enhanced cooperation in Higher Education.

He highlighted that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has initiated several schemes for improving the quality of higher education by way of internationalisation of higher education viz. the Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research & Collaboration (SPARC), Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), and SII (Short term India centric courses).

Pokhriyal further informed that last year the HRD Ministry implemented SPARC to improve the research ecosystem through joint research programs, and in a short span of less than one year of the launch of the scheme 54 joint projects from Australian and Indian institutions have been started.

He added that the ‘Study in India’ program of the HRD Ministry aims to provide quality education to the international student community and to promote the Indian education system in international forums. It is an ongoing initiative promoting inward mobility of international students and offers numerous scholarships and fee waivers.

Pokhriyal highlighted that in order to showcase the variety of studies available in India, the HRD Ministry has started short term India-centric courses related to Yoga, Ayurveda, and Naturopathy. He hoped that there will be enhanced participation from Australia in all these programs & schemes.

“At the end, I would like to congratulate the Australian side for having a productive meeting and I am looking forward to continuous cooperation in the field of education in the future as well,” Pokhriyal concluded.

Pokhriyal and Tehan also participated in the 5th Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) meeting in New Delhi on 22 November, which marked eight years of its founding. The Council was conceptualized during the Ministerial Meeting held in 2010.

Setting up of a bi-national body with representation from academia, policymakers and industry is a useful mechanism to enhance interaction on issues related to education and further collaboration between both countries, said an HRD Ministry press release.

Addressing the gathering, Pokhriyal expressed his happiness in co-chairing this 5th Meeting of the AIEC with the Australian Education Minister. He said AIEC has been able to accomplish its objectives as well as shoulder the responsibility of reimagining Indo-Australian education cooperation by bringing together diverse stakeholders from policymaking, academia, as well as industry.

He highlighted that the contribution of the AIEC in both policy and program engagement and towards the key areas of higher education and research, student mobility and welfare, quality assurance, qualifications recognition, skills and schools is commendable.

Pokhriyal further said, “I cannot stress enough the vital role of education in enhancing overall cooperation between our two nations as well as in pooling our strengths together in the achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

Pokhriyal thanked Tehan for his visit to India to discuss the important issue of education cooperation. On the sidelines of the above meetings, both the Ministers also inaugurated the India-Australia International Education and Research Workshop.

Earlier in November, Pokhriyal had said at the 40th UNESCO General Conference in Paris that India is committed to providing higher education not only to Indian students but also to foreign students.

On the sidelines of the UNESCO Conference, Pokhriyal also met the Education Minister of Bangladesh Dipu Moni who said Bangladesh wants to pursue collaborative research with top institutes like IITs and IIMs.

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The ID Staff

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