India, US ink 4 MoUs on education

Published: 26th June 2013 09:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2013 09:37 AM   |  A+A-

Four MoUs were signed on Tuesday during the third Indo-US Higher Education Dialogue here. The dialogue was co-chaired by Union Human Resource Development Minister M M Pallam Raju and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Addressing the dialogue, Raju emphasised the need to work on new avenues for collaboration so that the two countries could grow together as two leading ‘knowledge societies’ in the world.

Raju gave a road map for the collaboration, which includes promoting institution-to-institution ties, deepening co-operation in R&D, encouraging faculty exchanges and development of teachers.The blueprint also includes promoting a two-way student exchange, skills developing and giving thrust to online education such as Massive Open On-Line Courses (MOOCs).

Sharing HRD Ministry’s vision on education system, Raju said, “We wish to make skill development integral part of the country’s education system.” He thanked the US for crystallising the Ministry’s strategy for institutionalising the community colleges in India.  Laying stress on innovation and entrepreneurship, Raju said that it would help us to transform educational institutions into engines of growth.

Kerry said that the US is willing to forge partnership in various fields. Describing the goal set by the HRD Ministry in education sector as challenging, Kerry said that community colleges were the life line of education in the US and 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 the two countries. “We need to make sure that next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs have the skills and training,” Kerry said.

During the dialogue, MoUs between IIT Delhi and University of Nebraska on collaboration on cyber system; IIT Bombay and edX on massive open online courses; AICTE and American Association of Community Colleges on cooperation for establishment of community colleges; ITM Group of Institutions and Montgomery College on capacity development, have been signed.

Raju also said that based on the US experience of community colleges, India had embarked on developing community colleges. “We are only borrowing the concept and not going to replicate what is happening there in the US,” the HRD said.

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