HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ holds bilateral talks with Minister for Education of Australia

New Delhi: Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ held bilateral talks with Minister for Education of Australia, Shri 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 Shri Pokhriyal said that both the countries would deepen their relationship with enhanced cooperation in Higher Education.

He highlighted that the MHRD has initiated several schemes for improving the quality of Higher Education by way of Internationalization of Higher Education viz. Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research & Collaboration (SPARC), GIAN, SII (Short term India centric courses).

The Minister also informed that last year HRD Ministry started Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research & Collaboration (SPARC) for improving the research ecosystem through joint research programmes 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 further informed that ‘Study in India’ programme of MHRD aims to provide quality education to the international student community and to promote Indian education system in international forum. It is an ongoing initiative promoting inward mobility of international students and offers numerous scholarships and fee waivers.

He highlighted that in order to showcase the variety of studies available in India, we started short term India-centric courses related to Yoga, Ayurveda, Naturopathy etc. The Minister hoped that there will be enhanced participation from Australia in all these programmes/schemes. At the end, I would like to congratulate the Australian side for having a productive meeting and I am looking forward for continuous cooperation in the field of education in future as well.

Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Minister of Education, Government of Australia Shri Dan Tehan also participated in the 5th Australia-India Education Council meeting in New Delhi today which marks 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, policy makers and industry is a useful mechanism to enhance interaction on issues related to education and further collaboration between both countries.

Addressing the meeting Shri Pokhriyal expressed his happiness in co-chairing this 5th Meeting of the Australia India Education Council with Australian Education Minister. He said AIEC has been able to accomplish its objectives as well as shoulder the responsibility of reimagining India-Australia education cooperation by bringing together diverse stakeholders form 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.

Shri Pokhariyal further added that 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”. The Minister felt grateful to Australian Education Minister for his visit to India to discuss the important issue of education cooperation.

In the sidelines of the above meetings, both the Ministers also inaugurated the India-Australia International Education and Research Workshop today.

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