Kapil Sibal, Hillary Clinton discuss formation of India - US education council

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Washington, June 3 (ANI): Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today and discussed wide ranging issues relating to bilateral cooperation in the field of education.

Sibal recalled that 50 years ago India and USA had come together to establish world class institutions like IIT Kanpur.

"The nature of cooperation has now changed with development of India but there is great opportunity for the two countries to work together to create centres of excellence," he said

He also mentioned some of the major reform measures undertaken by him and said that his aim is to increase GER in Higher Education to 30 percent by the year 2020 which means almost tripling the enrolment from the present 14 million to about 40 million.

"This effort would require setting up of at least 600-700 new universities and another 35,000 colleges," he added.

Welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama knowledge initiative, Sibal said that we need to establish a bi-national India-US Education Council having academics, entrepreneurs and government representatives as members.

"This Council will give further impetus to the sustained efforts being made by both sides to increase education cooperation," he added.

Sibal also mentioned the 14 innovation universities being set up in India and said that the two sides could partner in setting some of these innovation universities, one of which could be announced during the proposed visit of President Obama to India later this year.

The two leaders also discussed the use of ICT in enhancing the Teaching- learning capabilities, research collaboration Biosciences, nano-sciences and other spheres. They also discussed the interest shown by US universities in establishing institutions in India.

Earlier, Sibal met Arne Duncan, Secretary Education. (ANI)

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