The Indian Prime Minster, Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United States has heralded a new era in Indo-American relations. As the PM pointed out in his historic address to the US Congress, the two largest democracies have been cooperating in various sectors, and the potential for strengthening the partnership is huge. One of the key areas of cooperation between the two nations is education and training.
Traditionally, the USA has been the preferred choice of Indian students seeking education abroad. According to the Institute of International Education, students from the South Asian nation constitute the highest percentage of international enrollments in American higher-ed institutions. Eminent scholars such as HarGobind Khorana and Amartya Sen have made valuable contributions to the American academia. And as Mr.Modi, in his address, pointed out, various US universities have played a key role in nurturing various Institutes of Technology and Management in India. One could expect the Indian Prime Minister’s recent visit to the US would pave the way for increased co-operation between the academic communities of the two countries.
The explosive growth in the use of digital technologies has added a new dimension to the partnership between the two nations in the field of learning. Various Indian institutions are leveraging the power of technology-enabled learning to augment their learners’ capabilities, and US organizations are playing a key role in these initiatives. For instance, the University of California has collaborated with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Amrita University to launch an e-learning initiative for enhancing the quality of science and technical education in India. Many students in the country are using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provided by US-based organizations such as Coursera to augment their knowledge. Mr. Modi’s recently-concluded visit to the US could pave the way for better cooperation in the domain of online education.
This collaboration in the area of learning is not just limited to higher education. It extends well into the realm of corporate training too. Many American companies are utilizing the services of Indian firms to meet the learning needs of their workforce. Various factors such as competitive pricing and the availability of a large pool of English-speaking skilled workforce have made India the hub of corporate e-learning outsourcing. On the other hand, the Government of India (GoI) is taking a cue from the community college system in the USA to come up with programs to develop the skills of millions of its under-qualified and under-employed youth. The two counties had agreed on a framework to improve the skills of more than 400 million Indians. The Indian Prime Minister’s visit to US could open the doors to more such joint initiatives.
For long, America has been the preferred destination of many Indian students. The last few years have witnessed a considerable growth in the cooperation between India and the US, and education is an important aspect of this partnership. The two countries have been collaborating extensively in areas such as e-learning and skill development Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to the USA has given a fillip to this partnership. What do you think?