Ministry of Education, Government of India and US Department of State today launched the India-US Working Group on Education and Skill Development in virtual mode, with the aim to enhance cooperation and collaboration between the two countries in the field of education and skill development. Ms. Neeta Prasad, Joint Secretary for International Cooperation, Ministry of Education, Government of India and Mr. 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 on 11.04.2022.
Discussions during the meeting focussed on the following sub-topics:
- Skilling and vocational education
- Certification and recognition
- Matchmaking between U.S. and Indian higher educational institutions
- Engaging with the Private Sector
Both sides acknowledged the importance of skilling and vocational education in the industry centered era. Recognizing 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.
The delegations emphasized the significance of certification and recognition mechanisms in ensuring the quality and portability of skills across borders. Indian side explained the importance of mutual recognition of academic qualifications and skill certifications which is essential for smooth mobility of students and professionals between the two countries.
Recognizing the potential for collaboration in the field of higher education, the delegations discussed the importance of matchmaking between higher educational institutions of India and US. They acknowledged the benefits of promoting student and faculty exchanges, joint research programs, and collaborative projects between universities and colleges of both countries. 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.
Both sides acknowledged the importance of engagement with the private sector to align the education sector with the needs of the job market. Acknowledging the vital role of the private sector in driving innovation, creating job opportunities, and supporting the education sector, both sides agreed to explore avenues to promote public-private partnerships in education and skill development initiatives.
Noting that student and faculty exchanges are at the heart of the knowledge partnership between both countries, 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.