India, European Commission Dialogue On Education

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) India and European Commission launched a policy dialogue on key issues in education through a joint declaration signed by the two sides today, it was e-announced this evening.

The joint declaration was signed by India's Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh and European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth Jan Figel, the EC announcement said.

''Among the areas that could be covered by the policy dialogue on education are a modernisation agenda for higher and vocational education, quality assurance mechanisms as well as the promotion of academic excellence and innovation,'' it said.

Indian officials were not immediately available for comment.

The EC announcement said that with the declaration the EC and the Indian government ''aim to reinforce their cooperation in the form of a policy dialogue on key issues in education.'' It said Figel stressed furthering cooperation on education and culture between the EU and India. ''In the context of the India-EU strategic partnership, a reinforced dialogue with an exchange on policy issues will be mutually beneficial.

''It can provide both sides with a new stimulus for the formulation of the strategies we need in order to respond to the challenges of the contemporary world, in particular against the backdrop of increasing globalisation.'' It said the visit was a follow-up to the EU-India Summit in Marseille seven weeks ago-- on September 29, during which EU and Indian leaders committed themselves to promoting a dialogue in education.

It said the ''policy-oriented initiative'' built on ''rich and diversified cooperation in education already developed through EU-funded programmes.'' It said the dialogue ''is a mutually beneficial mechanism for the exchange of information and experiences, of best practices, as well as a process of peer learning between administrations.'' Figel visited the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and attended an India-EU Higher Education Cooperation Symposium and a European Higher Education Fair.

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