India's HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday had a meeting with the US Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J Burns and later disclosed that he would lead a delegation of industry leaders and university people to the US on October 24 to discuss collaboration in the university education sector.
Sibal is scheduled to visit a number of institutions, including Harvard University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and George Washington University.
Ahead of his visit to the US next week, Sibal said a number of American institutes are keen on investing in India and that both countries will set up a joint council to take forward bilateral cooperation in education.
Sibal discussed with Burns the scope for collaboration and investment by the American institutes in India.
The Indo-US Council will comprise industry leaders and academicians and will work on how to facilitate investment and collaborations of American institutions with Indian universities.
"We will set up Indo-US council on education. Burns said the universities in the US want that the roadmap for their entry to India be expedited and that they are ready to come. There is a lot of enthusiasm from private sector, government and universities in this direction," he said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit the US in November.
Sibal will meet policy makers, Congressmen and Senators besides academicians and private industry to explore the scope of collaboration between institutions of both countries and also invite investment in education in India.
"By the end of my trip something very substantive will emerge," he said.
The preferred areas of collaboration are distance education, vocational training, research, skill development, setting up new universities, private-public-partnership and faculty exchange.
The Indo-US education council will meet on regular basis to bring together industry and educational institutions to fasten the process of investment and collaboration. India has human resource but it lacks investment. The US is in need of human resource, he said.
There are a number of private players and universities from the US which are keen on investing in India, he said adding, "There are a lot of people here who are keen on collaborating with the US. So this council will bring together industry people and academicians to look at opportunities here and in the US," Sibal said.
He said the government will try to put in place the Foreign Education Providers Bill soon to help the entry of foreign universities in India.
The American institutions are keen to be involved in setting up of the proposed 14 innovative universities here, Sibal said adding the government is trying to find appropriate partners for this purpose. PTI