India is keen on collaborating with Australian universities and vocational institutions to train and skill its 550 million young population.
Human Resources Development Minister M Pallam Raju is on a visit here to influence Australian universities and vocational institutions to deepen ties with the Indian education system.
Apart from Melbourne, the minister will visit Sydney and is expected to meet officials of various universities and vocational institutions during his trip.
“Ever since the education agreement was signed between the two sides during former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s visit to New Delhi, we have been making good progress. There is a lot of dialogue happening and we hope to strengthen the relationship,” Raju told PTI.
Raju said he would attend Australia India Education Council meeting, a joint collaboration between the two sides to expand collaboration in education, training and research.
“We have agreements in a number of spheres and one of the areas we are working on is collaboration between Universities and also on vocational skilling,” he said.
Elaborating on the other agendas that he would be discussing with the Australian side, the Minister highlighted capacity building for teachers both in school education and higher education.
“We are looking at expanding the ties by holding joint research, exchange of faculties, movement of students and also trying to make higher education more enabling,” Raju said.
“We have an agreement called ‘Twining arrangement’ where by Indian students studying in India can do a couple of semesters abroad in chosen universities and get degree from there,” he said.
Indian government is said to be facing an enormous challenge to train and educate the 550 million population who are under the age of 25 years.
It has been estimated that an additional 50,000 new Vocational Education Training Colleges would be required to meet the demand in India.
The need for vocationally skilled workers in India spans across most industry verticals including mining, agriculture, retail, automotive, hospitality, aged care, tourism and education.
“There is a lot we can do with Australian side in terms of education because skilling is one area where we want to make a huge transformation,” the minister said.