Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dr. D. Purandeswari Calls for Greater Educational Cooperation Among EAS Countries
Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr. D. Purandeswari led the Indian delegation at the First East Asia Summuit Education Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM), held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 5 July 2012. The Indian delegation comprised Mr. Gurjit Singh, Ambassador of India to Indonesia and the ASEAN; Dr. R. Govinda, Vice Chancellor of National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA); Ms. Radha Chauhan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development; Mr. K. Gunasekaran, Additional Secretary, University Grants Commission of India and Mr. Nikhilesh Giri, First Secretary (ASEAN), Embassy of India, Jakarta.

In her statement at the EAS EMM, the Minister stated that time had come to evolve a strategy to promote educational cooperation among the EAS countries to harness credit transfer, mutual recognition of degrees, free flow of highly qualified people, earmarking of seats for students from member countries in reputed institutions in the region, setting up corpus fund to promote research, etc.

Dr. Purandeswari conveyed India`s proposal to establish an EAS Regional Leadership Development Programme, with the objective of providing access to higher education for the generation of future leadership in the areas of regional importance.

India also expressed its interest in linking its National Qualification Framework (NQF) to regional framework development. This will usher in Regional Inter-Operability of National Qualification Frameworks and ensure mobility within the EAS participating countries.

Regional integration and harmonization of skills are considered the overarching intervention needed in TVET to address the major issues brought about by the emerging economic, social and technological trends. A flexible approach with different pedagogy and more focus for employers` engagement and ownership are the key success factors for TVET for which sharing of best practices across the region can be integrated to leverage the potential of skill development and competitiveness. Facilitating TVET Teacher and Student Mobility would benefit from a regional approach and India will take the lead in this project.

On the margins of the EAS EMM, Dr. Purandeswari also held bilateral meetings with the Ministrer of Education and Culture of Indonesia H. E. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nuh; Minister of Education of Australia Hon’ble Christopher Evans; Minister of Education of New Zealand Hon’ble Steven Joice; and the US Deputy Secretary for Education Senator Anthony Wilder Miller to review progress in bilateral cooperation in the field of education. They also exchange notes on the approaches of the respective countries on future plans for educational cooperation under the EAS framework.

India and Indonesia also held their second meeting of the Joint Working Group on Education in Yogyakarta on 4 July. The Indian and Indonesian delegations were led by Dr. R. Govinda, Vice Channcellor, NUEPA and Dr. Harris Iskandar, Secretary at the Direcorate General for Education. Both sides agreed on concerete plans for exchange of students and faculty under various scholarship schemes; research collaboartion; and twinning of universities. 

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