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Sibal-Clinton Lead Indo US Higher Education Dialogue 'Connect to India' Initiative Unveiled

(Press Information Bureau)

The second Indo US Higher Education dialogue was held in Washington, United States yesterday with Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Kapil Sibal and U S Secretary of State Ms Hillary Clinton as the co-chair.

Opening the dialogue, Shri Sibal said the digital world is challenging the lecture-driven teaching traditions of the university. With open content and open-access, we are seeing the early emergence of a meta-university. The Internet and the Web will provide the communication infrastructure, while the open-access movement and its derivatives will provide much of the knowledge and information infrastructure. The meta university will reinterpret the concept of a University as not just a traditional, physical space of learning, but as a repository of knowledge and information that can be delivered in multiple ways, and can be accessed from anywhere, at anytime.

Speaking on the need to appreciate, manage and preserve our diversity through education and learning by experience, the Minister said global students would understand and learn about management of diversity in India far better than elsewhere in the world. Towards this end, Shri Sibal said he proposed to launch a “Connect to India” initiative that will make available opportunities for students in the U.S to spend some time in our quality institutions for learning about our life, society, culture, economy, polity and business.

U S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Dialogue not only represents the commitment of both the governments but also of both societies to provide more opportunities to the youth to achieve their aspirations. Secretary Clinton highlighted three main focus areas :

- Work force development
- Research in grand challenge areas like sustainable development, energy, public health;
- Developing open education resources

The Higher Education Dialogue chalked out the future strategy for effective partnerships for research and innovation as well as Community colleges and skills, which are very high on India’s development agenda.

Both sides appreciated that there is immense scope of working together on various strands in Research and Innovation, particularly in the identified areas of challenges for which discussion on modes of collaboration, collaborative models, and governance and management issues were deliberated. Both sides also committed resources for these initiatives.

Some of the areas identified for research and innovation are:

- Public health including medical technology, green energy and environmental studies
- Cyber security
- Leveraging technology for education leading to e-learning
- Development of Meta University
- Increasing connectivity through NKN
- Educational Technology
- Connect to India programme
- Sharing of best practices in innovation and incubation

The meeting was followed by the announcement of awards under the Singh - Obama knowledge Initiative and the presentation of web portal on Indo US higher education developed by AICTE was presented.