India, UK ink education deal

HRD ministry to conduct survey for taking reforms forward

India, UK ink education deal

Balancing act: Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and UK’s Minister for Universities and Sciences David Willetts exchange documents after signing an agreement for UKIERI (Phase II), in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

“A task force will look into the course structure, curriculum and duration of important programmes in both the countries and then would decide how degrees in one country can be made equivalent so that India can recognise those from the British institutions and vice versa,” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Friday.

Briefing reporters after a MoU-signing ceremony with David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, UK, Sibal said equivalence of degrees would help in mobility of students. While around 40,000 Indians are now studying in the UK, British students in India number only 500. None of the professional degrees like MBA, MTech or MBBS from Indian Universities are recognised in the UK and vice versa.

The MoU has also focused on collaboration between the two countries in skill development and vocational education, developing leadership at school and higher education levels and also in the 14 Innovation Universities, which the HRD Ministry has proposed to set up during the XI Plan period.

The Ministry has also decided to conduct a nation-wide survey for taking the education reforms process forward.

A task force would be constituted towards this end to facilitate the survey and explore mechanism to conduct the exhaustive exercise and identify an implementation agency to execute it.

The task force would submit its preliminary recommendations to the HRD Ministry to operationalise the survey within two months from the date of issue of notification, said HRD Ministry sources. The 13-member task force would be headed by additional secretary in the department of higher education under the Ministry.

The information generated from the survey would be critical for planning for growth and development of the sector essentially for enabling the country to achieve targeted Gross Enrolment Ratio of 30 per cent, sources said. The survey would seek to cover the higher educational institutions including universities, research bodies, statutory councils for higher education, state governments and academics among others.

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