Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met with Australian counterpart Jason Clare, resulting in both nations agreeing to expand research collaborations in pivotal sectors. The discussions occurred during the first Australia-India Education and Skill Council Meeting held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
The bilateral talks were described as successful and productive, focusing on educational skills as a primary area of concern. The ministers highlighted the need to recognize mutual interests and prioritize key sectors for joint research, emphasizing the cooperation between the two nations.
Notably, there were discussions on boosting research collaborations in domains such as mines and minerals, critical minerals, logistics, renewable energy, water management, healthcare, and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, they planned to enhance student and faculty exchange programs, dual degrees, twin degrees, and joint Ph.D. initiatives.
The meeting also revealed the formation of a consortium among six Australian universities specializing in education and skill development. Pradhan highlighted the growing number of Indian students studying in Australia, emphasizing the vast potential for collaboration between the two countries.
Clare mentioned the existing partnerships between Australian and Indian institutions, signing additional agreements that expand upon their current collaborations. He stressed the significance of Australian universities establishing campuses in India, offering an opportunity for Indian students to access Australian education at a reduced cost.
The ministers expressed enthusiasm about the prospects for combined research initiatives, particularly in sectors crucial to both nations. They emphasized the potential for deeper collaboration between government bodies, universities, and industry players. Clare highlighted the importance of intensifying collaboration in various fields, notably mentioning the potential in electric car production and lithium supply.
The Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) serves as a forum to decide on key bilateral priorities and collaborative efforts in education, training, and research. Six meetings of the AIEC have taken place, with working groups focusing on higher education, research, student mobility, schools, qualification recognition, and quality assurance.
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