Indo-US higher education summit inaugurated in Mumbai

July 31st, 2010 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 31 (IANS) With an aim to increase access and enhance quality of Indo-US higher education, a two-day summit for higher education was inaugurated here Saturday.
The summit is a part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Indo-American Society.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal was the chief guest at the inaugural function.

He spoke about his vision of a nation where every child has the opportunity to go to school and get access to higher studies, irrespective of his or her paying capacity.

“The vision needs to be translated to reality through reform of governance structures, development of education infrastructure and strategic action on programmes - all enveloped in an environment where freedom of choice and thought permeate through the education system,” Sibal said.

“We will confront various challenges along the path but the call of the society is loud and clear: that in the movement towards translation of the vision, we will meet squarely the challenges that confront us,” he added.

Focused on building bridges in the field of education and culture between India and the US, the summit is expected to have far-reaching results.

“We are hopeful that the summit will have far-reaching results leading to fruitful collaborations between educational institutes and exchange programmes,” said V. Rangaraj, Indo-American Society president.

Every year more than one lakh Indian students go to the US to pursue higher education and more than four times the figure do not get a chance to do so.

“The summit, hence, opens the ground for the Indo-American Society to create an ideal framework of government policy, partnerships models and access to networks that will enable interactional education providers to access this untapped demand,” Rangaraj added.

Indu Sahani, the sheriff of Mumbai and the convenor of the summit, said: “In recognition of the changing face of modern higher education and to address the challenges faced by educationists, institutions and government alike, the Indo-American Society aims to bring together individuals committed to taking education to its highest pinnacle.”

A white paper on the subject ‘Higher Education’ prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers was also released.

“The key messages of the white paper are that there are immense opportunities for participation of private sector - both domestic and foreign in the field of higher education,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers executive director Dhiraj Mathur.

“The government should seek to harness the creativity, energy and capability of the private sector and create synergies,” he added.

Also present at the event, among others, were US Consul General Paul Folmsbee, US Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs from US Embassy at New Delhi Michael Pelletier, former vice chancellor of Mumbai University Vijay Khole, Chairman of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) Shankar Marathe, Maharashtra higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope and Planning Commission member Narendra Jadhav.

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