Recalling the considerable progress achieved in bilateral educational relations, Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Kapil Sibal and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today reaffirmed the strategic partnership between India and the United States.
The partnership reflects 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.
Expressing their commitment to that vision, Shri 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.
Shri 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.
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: