India-US higher education cooperation to help take bilateral ties forward

WASHINGTON: A day after India-US announced the intent to establish a new Education and Skills Development Working Group, a Washington-based expert said that higher education cooperation between the two countries will help deliver the real promise of diplomatic relationship.

“Great today to be at Howard University to have a meeting with the Secretary of State and India’s External Affairs Minister to talk about the real promise of US-India higher education cooperation,” Richard Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies at Center for Strategic and International Studies, told ANI.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday participated in a conversation with students, faculty, and leadership of Howard University. Both foreign ministers interacted with Indian students, scholars, and researchers who have worked in the United States, and with US students, scholars, and researchers.

Talking about the key takeaways from this interaction, Rossow said the high-level takeaway is that both ministers got together to talk about higher education. “When you talk about 200,000 Indian students coming here, number of US universities that have research partnerships there-a lot going on that underpins many other elements of our relationship,” he added.

At the working level, Rossow said that the ministers announced during the 2+2 Summit on Monday that they created a new working group on higher education skills development. “Trying to underscore and underpin this vital element of our relationship that sits there, very exciting to see this much attention,” he said.

On the question of what more can be done in the field of higher education, Rossow said “Once the American business realise that India is today and certainly will be in future a critical part of global investment and trade regimes, they got to send signals to MBA students that you need a little bit of background if you gotta succeed in big corporate America.”

Answering a question about the 2 + 2 dialogue, the senior fellow said,” It’s great for the two countries to get together when there was a lot of tensions building up over the difference of opinion on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” “Second, you did see some significant announcement on the Space Situational Awareness,” he added.

Jaishankar earlier said that a key driver in this change has been the human element which includes 4.4 million Indian diaspora that has defined India’s image in US society. “The 4.4 million Indian diaspora has literally defined our image in this society and helped forge relationships that are an enormous source of strength for us,” he said.

Highlighting the “deeper academic” ties between the United States and India, Blinken said that the partnership is absolutely crucial and pertinent for addressing the problems of the 21st century. He said that at least 200,000 Indian students are studying in US universities.

This Howard University event comes a day after India and US reiterated their support to further strengthen cooperation in the field of education and skill development through joint collaborations and promote student and scholar mobility to build people-to-people linkages between the two countries.

“In this regard, the ministers announced the intent to establish a new India-U.S. Education and Skills Development Working Group,” the joint statement on the Fourth India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue read. (ANI)

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