US to help India build community college system

June 6th, 2012 - 7:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 6 (IANS) The US has offered to help India build a system of community colleges, saying a world-class education would be good for both nations.

“I think the challenges India faces dwarf — make ours look relatively simple,” US Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters at a White House news conference Tuesday, ahead of next week’s India-US education dialogue.

“But I think there’s a chance to provide a much better education for hundreds and hundreds and thousands of young people in India,” he said.

“Whatever we can do to help as they build the next system of community colleges, as they scale up what’s working, as American institutions start to set up campuses in India, we want to be a great partner,” Duncan said.

“I just absolutely believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. And the more young people across India are getting a world-class education, that’s a great thing (for India and the US as well),” he said in response to a question.

Next week’s India-US education dialogue co-chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will focus on two key areas — advanced research and innovation and workforce development, specifically, community colleges.

During the dialogue, Washington will announce the first eight partnership projects to be funded jointly by the US and India through the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, according to Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake.

These three-year joint projects between American and Indian universities in the areas of food security, energy, climate change and public health will be funded by about a quarter million dollar in grants.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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