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US, India: Educational collaboration is a driving force in strategic dialogue

While US and India are collaborating and cooperating in every sector of the economy in making sure the human security requirements, on the contrary Pakistani establishment still adheres to its strategic narrative and ‘security state’policy.

Secretary Clinton with Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake, Indian Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal, and Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia at the U.S.-India Higher Education Summit held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

India and the United States have agreed to broaden their knowledge partnership in pursuit of six key goals, including strategic institutional partnerships and exploring models for ‘educational institutions for the 21st Century’.

The goals were outlined in a US-India Joint Statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and India’s Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal issued at the end of a day-long “historic” US-India Higher Education summit co-chaired by them.

To pursue the agreed goals, India announced its intention to set up an India-US higher education platform as the two sides agreed to strengthen educator enrichment and exchange programmes to promote development of human resources while also enhancing broader interaction between the two countries.

The Indian government also indicated its intention to sponsor initially up to 1,500 faculty and junior scholars to leading universities and research institutes in the United States for this purpose.

Endorsing the consensus arrived at the summit attended by over 300 participants, the two sides agreed to continue expanded US-India Higher Education Dialogue with representatives from government, academia, and business that would interact on a periodic basis to inform and underpin the Dialogue.

The two sides also welcomed the involvement of the private sector in the two countries to support and deepen collaboration with the higher education community, faculty exchanges, skills development, and institutional partnerships, the joint statement said.

The proposed strategic institutional partnerships are aimed at further strengthening and expansion of collaboration in the priority areas of higher education, including science and engineering, social sciences, and humanities, and addressing societal challenges in areas such as cyber security, energy, environment, health and agriculture.

Other key goals include encouraging expansion and deepened collaboration in research and development in agreed areas between academic institutions of the two countries through existing initiatives and fostering partnerships in the areas of vocational education and skills enhancement to meet the needs of today’s world.

The two sides also agreed to further strengthening programmes for student and faculty enrichment and exchange, and development of leadership in academia at all levels.

Sibal and Clinton, the statement said, emphasised that access to and the development of technology and skills are cross-cutting requirements to meet the challenges that their two countries face and stressed the need to enhance their fruitful collaboration in the areas of education, research, and innovation.

The expanded US-India Higher Education Dialogue as an annual bilateral event to be held alternately in the United States and India to map out strategies for partnership in the field of education between the two countries.

It should identify areas for mutually beneficial exchanges and provide a platform for intense and meaningful collaboration among academia, the private sector, and government on both sides.

Source: The Economic Times

Secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks to the U.S.-India Higher Education Summit at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Good morning. I am always happy to be here and to have a chance to be on this campus that has meant so much to my family and particularly to see the balconies filled with Hoya and to know that some of you got up quite early. (Laughter.) But I am hoping that not only are you here because of your interest in the work that is ongoing between the United States and India but because you’re also considering a career in the Foreign Service. I have to put that plug in because, as you just heard when Assistant Secretary Bob Blake was introduced, it’s a very interesting professional endeavor. And I know how wonderful it is for somebody like Assistant Secretary Blake to have spent a career forging better relations between our country and others and to come and have a chance to look up at the next generation, because after all, that is what motivates our work.
So it’s a pleasure to welcome you here. I want to think President DeGioia, as I often do, for his generosity in sharing the hospitality of this great university. I want to thank Dean Carol Lancaster for her work as well, and I’m delighted that Minister Sibal and a distinguished delegation of Indian officials is here for this event. And of course, it is always a pleasure to be anywhere with the new Indian ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Rao, we thank you for all you’ve done on behalf of your country and the relationship between us.

I also want to recognize an old friend and someone who will be speaking to you later in the program, Ambassador Dick Celeste – ambassador, governor, and president emeritus of Colorado College. He’s very well positioned based on his diplomatic service in India, and of course, his deep knowledge of American higher education, to stress the importance of greater cooperation.

And I’m delighted, as I look out at this audience, to see faces I recognize – presidents and deans of some of our greatest American colleges and universities. And I thank our partners in both the private and the nonprofit sectors for making this summit a priority. This summit brings together more than 300 presidents, chancellors, and other leaders from across the higher education spectrum in our nation. From private institutions, like Georgetown or Yale, to community colleges, to state and land grant universities. And it’s a great gift and such an enormous treasure of our country that we have a higher education system that is a source of such national strength and pride.

Now, educational collaboration is a driving force in our strategic dialogue with the Government of India. And this summit is a result of the discussions between President Obama and Prime Minister Singh because for those of you who are watching the great rise of India, I hope you share our excitement that this largest of all democracies, this wildly pluralistic nation, is on the path to providing greater benefits for their citizens within the context of freedom and opportunity. And they know, as we know from our own experience, that a democracy depends upon education, an educated citizenry. And we, therefore, at the highest levels of our two governments, are committed to this.

But whether or not this takes hold will depend upon those of you outside government – professors and teachers, researchers, business leaders; you will ultimately determine the success of these efforts. And so today is an opportunity for us to take our high-level partnership and begin making it real for the millions of Americans and Indians who care about our shared future and are, frankly, curious about one another.

Now, our college experiences, even those of us who can dimly remember them, do shape who we become. When I started at Wellesley College many years ago, I had only been out of our country once. I had gone to the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. (Laughter.) I was president of the Young Republicans; so you see, times do change. (Laughter.) And actually, Minister, when I was a senior at Wellesley, my first hope was to get a Fulbright to India. And for reasons having to do with geopolitics, the Fulbright program was put on pause at that time. So I ended up going to Yale Law School.

And since then, I have seen the results of my education in nearly everything that I do, on pushing me to become a global citizen, rooted here in my own country, whose values and traditions I cherish, but looking outward. And almost – well, I don’t want to say how many years later, but now I see higher education as an even greater passport to opportunity and understanding. So as we strive to facilitate that between our young people, we have to do more. We don’t want to just stand by and let it happen on its own because we believe strongly that investing in learning between us is in very much both of our interests.

Now, the United States and India have a strong history of exchange. Last year, we welcomed over 100,000 students from India to pursue college or graduate level study here. But we think the opportunities for collaboration are even greater. And particularly, we want to see more American students enrolling for academic credit at Indian institutions.

The United States Government is fully committed to enhancing this academic cooperation. The Obama-Singh Initiative provides $10 million for increased university partnership and junior faculty development. The Fulbright-Nehru program has nearly tripled in size in the past three years, and we are proud that the United States now conducts more faculty exchanges with India than with any other country through this program. And with our new Passport to India program, we are working with the private sector to help more American students experience India through internships and service projects. We’ve expanded our Education U.S.A. advising services for Indian students and their families to provide information about opportunities for study, and frankly, to help you sort out misleading offers that come over the internet, and we know flood into homes across India, giving young Indian students the idea that a certain approach will work for them when, in fact, it is a dead end. We don’t want to see that happen. We want to see real exchanges with credible institutions, and we will do everything we can to support that.

We’re also encouraging state and local officials in our country to engage with their counterparts in India to support educational cooperation and connection at every level. So we’re going to continue to facilitate dialogues like this, but we’re asking you to develop direct connections, faculty to faculty, student to student, business to business.

And there are so many wonderful stories. I’m sure many of you could tell your own, but I want to end with this one because it really hits close to home in an area that I care deeply about.

A few years ago, a small group of American and Indian classmates at Stanford University decided to work together to build a better baby incubator. Four hundred and fifty premature and low-weight babies die every hour, and traditional baby incubators can cost as much as $20,000. So the students developed the Embrace baby warmer, a portable incubator for use in poor and rural areas that doesn’t require electricity and only costs around $100.

After graduating from Stanford, this Indian and American team moved to Bangalore to continue working on their idea and launched their project. And it’s now in use in hospitals in India and saving babies’ lives. Their goal is to save 100,000 babies by 2013.

Now, this is a simple idea born out of conversations between students from both of our countries talking about shared hopes for a better world that led to action. And it took these American and Indian students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives working together to make it happen.

So I’d like to challenge all of us to jumpstart these kinds of relationships and opportunities for cooperation today, and there is no better way to do it than to brainstorm in the sessions this afternoon to consider no idea off limits, no outcome impossible, asking yourselves: How can our universities deepen our collaboration and particularly our student and faculty exchanges, and how can we work more on research, and how can we set goals for ourselves that we then work toward meeting? How can the private sector and government help our educational institutions help catalyze the workforce that will be needed in the 21st century in both of our countries? What institutional barriers can we and should we break down, and how do we build forward?

We want our relationship between these two great democracies to be as interconnected as possible at every level. Yes, government to government, but that is just the beginning and is clearly not the most important of the lasting collaborations that we seek.

So with that, let me now invite to the podium my co-host for the summit, a very strong supporter for enhanced strategic and educational cooperation between our countries, Minister Sibal. (Applause.)

U.S.-India Joint Statement on Higher Education Cooperation

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release October 13, 2011

MEDIA NOTE

Washington, DC
October 13, 2011

Begin Text:

Recalling the considerable progress achieved in bilateral educational relations following the visits by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to the United States in 2009 and President Obama to India in 2010, Human Resource Development Minister Sibal and Secretary of State Clinton today reaffirmed the strategic partnership between India and the United States for meaningful dialogue, cooperation, and engagement in the field of higher education, and launched a new phase in this partnership. The two leaders acknowledged the immense possibilities for further collaboration between the two countries given the inherent dynamism, emerging challenges, and numerous exciting opportunities available for sharing and growing together.

Minister Sibal and Secretary Clinton emphasized that access to and the development of technology and skills are cross-cutting requirements to meet the challenges that their two countries face. They acknowledged the fruitful collaboration between India and the United States in the areas of education, research, and innovation and noted its contribution to the development of technologies, skills, and knowledge-based societies in both countries. Both leaders emphasized the need to enhance this collaboration.

Expressing their commitment to that vision, Minister Sibal and Secretary Clinton launched the expanded U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue as an annual bilateral event to map out strategies for partnership in the field of education between the two countries. The Dialogue should identify areas for mutually beneficial exchanges and provide a platform for intense and meaningful collaboration among academia, the private sector, and government on both sides. The plan is for the Dialogue to be held alternately in the United States and India.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved in the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, launched in 2009, under which proposals have been invited by both sides by November 1, 2011, to be reviewed by a joint working group for academic awards in support of university partnerships. The two leaders reiterated their strong commitment to the Fulbright-Nehru Program and its contribution to leadership development and scholarly achievement. They also highlighted and encouraged the full array of collaborations directly between higher education communities, such as the Yale-India program, for academic leadership and faculty development. The two leaders underscored the need to enhance the scope of collaboration and identify new ways to encourage linkages and exchange programs.

The two leaders also expressed their support for the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, which provides fresh impetus to academic collaboration in the cutting-edge areas of scientific research and technology development.

The two leaders lauded the continuing efforts by both sides to explore new avenues for collaboration such as the Indo-U.S. Engineering Education Conclave, held in January 2011 in New Delhi, for strengthening higher educational institutions in the fields of engineering and technology and expressed the hope that more such opportunities for engagement would emerge in the future in other fields.

The two sides endorsed the resolve of the stakeholders from academia, government, and industry to take forward the following areas of consensus arrived at during the Summit:

1. A continued expanded U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue with representatives from government, academia, and business that would interact on a periodic basis to inform and underpin the Dialogue.

2. Support for the following goals:

Promoting strategic institutional partnerships for further strengthening and expansion of collaboration in the priority areas of higher education, including science and engineering, social sciences, and humanities, and addressing societal challenges in areas such as cyber security, energy, environment, health and agriculture;

Encouraging expansion and deepened collaboration in research and development in the above areas between academic institutions of the two countries through existing initiatives;

Fostering partnerships in the areas of vocational education and skills enhancement to meet the needs of today’s world;

Exploration of models for ‘educational institutions for the 21st Century’ (such as ‘meta’ universities);

Further strengthening programs for student and faculty enrichment and exchange, and development of leadership in academia at all levels;

Welcoming the involvement of the private sector in the two countries to support and deepen collaboration with the higher education community, faculty exchanges, skills development, and institutional partnerships.

3. India announced its intention to set up an India-U.S. higher education platform as a means to pursue these goals.

4. Strengthening educator enrichment and exchange programs (with the Government of India indicating its intention to sponsor initially up to 1,500 faculty and junior scholars to leading universities and research institutes in the United States) to promote development of human resources while also enhancing broader interaction between the two countries.

Minister Sibal thanked Secretary Clinton and her colleagues, as well as the academic, non-governmental, and business communities in the United States for their efforts in successfully organizing the U.S.-India Higher Education Summit, and expressed optimism about building on this successful Summit in the expanded U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue to be held in 2012.

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