India and Australia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of education, training and research. The MoU was signed by Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development and Christopher Pyne MP, Minister of Education and Training, Government of Australia after the third meeting of the Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) held in New Delhi.
The MoU will strengthen the partnership between Australia and India in higher education and research, including technical and professional educations, schools, vocational education and training and will open up new and innovative areas of cooperation.
A joint Communiqué was also issued at the end of the AIEC meeting. The Communiqué commended the significant progress made by the Working Groups across the key areas of skills, higher education and research, student mobility and welfare, quality assurance and qualifications recognition, and welcomes the extension of collaborative activity to include engagement in the schools sector. It highlights the development of the credit transfer database, hosted on the Australia India education links website (www.australiaindiaeducation.com ), as a practical way to encourage student mobility between Indian and Australian universities.
The Communiqué emphasises that the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN), launched by the Government of India, would enable academic interaction to mutual benefit. It further says that GIAN would enable eminent Australian academicians to come to India, to academic institutions and universities and enable an exchange of knowledge and teaching skills, which would help in developing a fruitful relationship between academic communities on both sides for augmenting research capabilities.
Both countries agreed for a total joint financial commitment of up to $1.0 million AUD for various activities under Educational Cooperation. Australian Minister also announced Adam Gilchrist as the Australia-India Education Ambassador, who will help project the quality of Australian education and strengthen the bilateral education, training and research relationships.
The AIEC is a bi-national body established in 2011 as a commitment by the Education Ministers of India and Australia to guide the strategic direction of the education, training and research partnership between the two countries. The AIEC consists of academia, industry and government and meets in conjunction with the annual Australia-India Ministerial Dialogue on Education Cooperation.