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Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr. Kapil Sibal Meets Secretary Clinton

Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal met the U.S. Secretary of State Ms. Hillary Clinton today and discussed wide ranging issues relating to bilateral cooperation in the field of education. Shri 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.

Shri Kapil Sibal mentioned some of the major reform measures undertaken by him and said that his aim is to increase GER in Higher Education to 30% 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. Welcoming the Singh-Obama knowledge Initiative, Shri Kapil 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. Shri 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.

Secretary Clinton, who was well informed about the education developments in India, expressed keen interest in India's vision of building an educated and skilled society and suggested collaboration in areas of skill development as well, particularly through community colleges. Secretary Clinton also welcomed the proposal of India-US Education Council.

Earlier during the day, Shri Sibal met Arne Duncan, Secretary Education. Shri Sibal shared his vision of education particularly reforms in education sector.