US President Barack Obama's visit to India in November is likely to give a boost to bilateral cooperation in the field of education, with the two countries planning to announce the setting up of a joint educational council.
Summing up his visit to the United States, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said the India-US Education Council will work for furthering bilateral relations in education. Sibal said the United States is impressed with the "massive" nature of educational reforms in India and is keen to collaborate with institutions here focussing on skill development and research.
The HRD Minister, who was part of the delegation for Indo-US Strategic Dialogue, said "both the sides also talked about whether it was time to recognise each other's degrees. It gives us more mobility." He said teams from the two sides will now get together and decide on the issue. "We will try and move forward."
The minister said American universities are keen to offer their expertise in setting up of some of the innovation universities in India. India has told the US during Sibal's recent visit to the US that it will set up 14 innovation universities which will concentrate on specific areas. "There was a buzz about (educational reforms) wherever we went," he said.
The minister said that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also appreciated "the massive nature of the reforms, the vision and what we are trying to do in the educational sector. It is unprecedented". He said that in his meeting with Clinton, there was a "broad agreement" between the two sides that "we should expand our collaboration" in the educational sector.
"They are very keen to collaborate with us in skill development and research. The desire is to collaborate in every level including school education," he said, adding that the Virgina Tech university has already bought land in Tamil Nadu. The Stanford University has also shown interest and said that they will meet in February. Sibal said various US institutions are waiting for the passage of the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, which would allow them to set up campuses in India.