Union HRD Minister Holds Bilateral Talks with Education Ministers of Norway, Bangladesh, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia on the Sidelines of 40th UNESCO General Conference being held in Paris

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40th UNESCO General Conference
HRD Minister also participated in High Level Meeting of Education Ministers at UNESCO, highlights new transformational initiatives by India to enhance international cooperation in field of education

Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ held bilateral talks with Education Ministers of Norway, Bangladesh, Mexico, Thailand, UAE and Malaysia in Paris on 13th November, 2019. The meetings took place on the sidelines of 40th UNESCO General Conference being held in Paris.

In his bilateral meeting with Ms.IselinNybø, Norway’s Minister of Research and Higher Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal exchanged views on future bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the field of education. Shri Pokhriyal emphasized on collaborative research opportunities between Indian educational institutions and eminent educational institutions of Norway. He also explained in detail the initiatives taken by Ministry of HRD for internationalization of Higher Education such as Study in India, GIAN and SPARC. Shri Pokhriyal invited the Norwegian Minister to visit India for a Bilateral meeting in early 2020.

Shri Pokhriyal met Education Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Dipu Moni at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Shri Pokhriyal said that friendly relations between India and Bangladesh should be taken forward. The education sector has the potential to take mutual cooperation to new heights.  Dr Moni highlighted that in the changing environment, the challenges of India and Bangladesh are same. She said that Bangladesh wants to pursue collaborative research with top institutes like IITs, IIMs.

Shri Pokhriyal held extensive discussions with the Education Minister of Mexico, Shri Esteban Moctezuma Barragan to increase educational exchange between India and Mexico.  He thanked Mexico for inviting India as a guest country at the International Book Conference in Mexico.  On this occasion, Shri Pokhriyal invited students from Mexico to visit India to study in the fields of Yoga, Ayurveda, Hindi, Sanskrit and other Indian languages ​​and Indian philosophy.  Shri Esteban Moctezuma said that the educational challenges of India and Mexico are same and both countries should work to increase long-term cooperation in the field of education.

Shri Pokhriyal also held a bilateral meeting with Thailand Education Minister Shri NatapholTeepsuwan and informed him that under Study in India programme, which is a flagship programme of Government of India, students from Thailand have taken admissions in top Indian Higher Educational Institutions.  Under Study in India Programme, fee waiver to the extent of 100% and scholarships are provided to meritorious International students. The Thai side may take steps to promote this programme for enhanced mobility which will result in deepening bilateral relations, the Minister added.

Shri Pokhriyal held a meeting with Education Minister of Malaysia Shri DrMaszlee Malik and urged to participate in GIAN programme of Ministry of HRD and also to take steps to send more students under Study in India programme. The Minister said that India has already shared anMoU on Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications. However, looking into the intensive potential of collaborative activities between the countries, we may go for a comprehensive MoU including the issue of Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications.

Shri Pokhriyal also participated in Ministerial meeting on inclusion in Higher Education. peaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the framers of our Constitution took special care that the rich diversity of the country should not only be protected but also thrives through education. In the new education policy, coming after 33 years, we have tried to harmonize the individual needs and abilities of the students by accepting diversity to promote inclusive education, Shri Pokhriyal explained.

He said that the teacher is the most important link in the teaching learning process. That is why we have started the world’s largest teacher learning program, Nishtha. We are determined to improve the quality of Indian higher education policy and make it sustainable. Through ‘SwayamPrabha’ and ‘Swayam’ Portal, we are committed to provide higher education not only to Indian students but also to foreign students.

We are illuminating the world through the light of knowledge through e-VigyanBharati and ArogyaBharati. We have agreements with African nations. Recently, we are giving research scholarships to students of 1000 ASEAN countries in our best technical institutions.

In order to attract students from all over the world, we started Study in India in 2018, under which 2500 scholarships are being given. We have started the DUO-India program by promoting educational inclusion at the international level and under this scheme we will be able to exchange teachers, researchers and students.

The Sampark Scheme is being successfully run to give a new impetus to academic research and academic collaboration with the world’s top educational institutions. Through the Right to Education Act 2009 for all, it is committed to provide education to all classes.

In addition, under the scheme of ‘Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN), faculties from the world’s prestigious higher education institutions visit Indian Higher Educational Institutions for taking courses in emerging areas. To enhance faculty mobility, it is necessary to expand academic collaboration with institutions of higher education. All these programmes are in line with UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4.5 and 4 (b).

The Minister hoped that this Ministerial meeting will effectively help in developing strategies to promote balanced international mobility of students and faculty between higher education institutions in UNESCO member countries.