New Delhi: Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, met a Parliamentary Delegation from Canada led by the Speaker of the Senate, Parliament of Canada, George J. Furey, in New Delhi yesterday. In the meeting, Pokhriyal said that India is an ideal education destination where students from foreign countries can come to study niche courses like Yoga and Ayurveda, along with other disciplines in some of the best institutions in the country.
Pokhriyal also spoke about the upcoming New Education Policy and how it is poised to make education in India more accessible, inclusive, and of higher quality. He spoke about the already-strong relations between India and Canada in the field of education and how these could be strengthened further in the coming years.
The HRD Minister also explained in detail the initiatives taken by the Ministry of HRD for internationalization of higher education, such as Study in India, the Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN), and the Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research Collaboration (SPARC).
He highlighted that Canada is one of the 28 countries participating in SPARC, with 19 more joint research proposals underway between Indian and Canadian institutions, observing that, under GIAN, nearly 90 faculty members from Canadian institutions have come to teach courses in Indian institutions.
Pokhriyal invited students from Canada to study in the fields of Yoga, Ayurveda, Hindi, Sanskrit and other Indian languages, and Indian philosophy, along with science and technology in various Indian educational institutions.
He also talked about the work being done by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) – a bi-national organization created by a joint announcement of the Government of India and Government of Canada in 1968 – towards promoting academic exchange between the two countries.
The Minister also suggested that both countries should strive to develop a system whereby the top Canadian companies and Indian companies provide an opportunity to internship students in their respective countries, adding that many multinational companies are doing excellent work in both India-Canada locations. Minister Pokhriyal made an appeal that there is a need to promote collaborative research with Indian establishments in Canada, as Canada is doing excellent work in the fields of nanotechnology, green energy, ecology, medicine, etc.
Pokhriyal said we should make special efforts to enhance the exchange of students between the two countries. The Minister expressed hope that this meeting will effectively help in developing strategies to promote balanced international mobility of students and faculty between higher education institutions of India and Canada.