India, Germany strengthen education ties

Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Zubin Irani and Dr. Johanna Wanka, German Minister of Education and Research held bilateral discussions on the range of issues related to enhancement and deepening of traditional ties.

The two ministers exchanged views on collaboration in science and technology, skills development, the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) as well as cooperation in the field of promotion of languages of each country in the other. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress made in the bilateral relations.

During the meet, India and Germany signed two Joint Declarations of Intent (JDIs) and an MoU for enhancing cooperation in education. The two JDIs and the MoU were signed in the presence of Smriti Irani and Dr. Johanna Wanka.

The first JDI seeks to implement a new programme titled “lndo-German Partnerships (IGP) in Higher Education” over four years from 2016-2020 to encourage and support cooperation between higher education institutions in each country. The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany, the respective implementing agencies for the JDI also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for operationalisation of the cooperation between the two countries in the field of the Higher Education.

The MoU will develop a joint partnership programme aimed at enhancing long-term partnerships between German and Indian institutions of higher education. New and innovative areas of cooperation would be opened, enabling participating institutions to develop teaching and research profiles and contribute to their internationalisation strategies. Each side will contribute 3.5 million Euros for the initial programme period of four years. The IGP will fund a number of projects, which would be identified based on a competitive selection process. By concentrating on top-level strategic partnerships, the programme aims to improve the overall quality of teaching and research and to strengthen inter-disciplinarily within the participating institutions.