1st Australia India Education and Skill Council meeting held

Union Minister for Education and Skill Development, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan held a bilateral meeting with his Australian Counterpart, HE Jason Clare, MP, Education Minister recently.

Shri Pradhan extended a warm welcome to Australian Minister for Education HE Jason Clare, MP. This is Minister Clare’s second visit to India this year. Shri Pradhan said that the frequent meetings are a testament to the growing strength and dynamism of India-Australia knowledge partnership. He expressed his happiness for the steady progress in the areas of mutual recognition of qualifications, establishment of joint working group, joint skill collaborations, collaboration between HEIs for joint degrees, study in India, internationalization of India’s education, visa-related issues for Indian students and research scholars, among others.

The Ministers conducted a thorough examination of bilateral collaboration in education and skills development. They mutually agreed to enhance knowledge and skill-based partnerships, aiming to foster increased mobility, employability, and prosperity for individuals in both nations.

Shri Pradhan co-chaired the 1st Australia India Education and Skill Council meeting with Australian Ministers HE Jason Clare, MP, Education Minister and HE Brendan O’Connor, Skills & Training Minister in Gandhinagar.

The AIESC, earlier the Australian India Education Council (AIEC), is a bi-national body established in 2011 to guide the strategic direction of the education, training and research partnerships between the two countries. The scope of this forum was enhanced in alignment with the national priorities of both countries to bring focus on promoting internationalization, two-way mobility and collaboration in the domains of education as well as the skill ecosystem. This is for the first time that education and skilling is being brought under the same institutional forum.

During the meeting, Shri Pradhan highlighted 2023 as a landmark year for Australia and India, particularly for cooperation in the areas of education and skill development. The inaugural Australia-India Education and Skills Council meeting will act as a catalyst in charting new roadmaps for building stronger knowledge bridges, advancing  mutual priorities in education and skill development, boosting people-to-people linkages and establishing the knowledge vertical as one of the strongest pillars of India – Australia ties, he stated.

He further said that education and skills as a primary and priority area of our bilateral engagements reflects PM Shri Narendra Modi’s and Australian PM, HE Anthony Albanese’s commitment to strengthening knowledge bridges. The immensely successful inaugural Australia-India Education and Skills Council meeting has paved the way for ‘more cooperation, more collaboration and more mobility’ in identified priority areas, he added.

He informed that 5 MoUs between Australian and Indian HEIs have been exchanged today to facilitate greater research collaborations in areas like, agriculture, water management, critical minerals, healthcare, AI, renewable energy and climate change. This is going to create more opportunities for advancing educational, research and innovation priorities, student and faculty exchanges, more twining programs/dual degrees, he added.

Shri Pradhan further said that focused on outcome-oriented roadmap for the decade, AIESC will be the key for envisioning a brighter future for both Australia and India. He also thanked the Australian Ministers and their team for taking this platform to the next level of engagement where Indian students and skilled workers can explore better and more meaningful avenues for their careers and livelihood.

HE Mr. Jason Clare, MP in his address mentioned how the future of the countries will be shaped with the help of meaningful partnership in the areas of education and skilling. He mentioned the 450 existing research partnerships between the two countries. He also commented that collaboration at the governmental, institutional and industry levels will further strengthen the tie-up and benefit both countries.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and HE Mr. Jason Clare, MP also addressed a joint Press Conference after the completion of the 1st Australia-India Education and Skills Council Meeting (AIESC). Secretary, Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Shri K Sanjay Murthy and Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Mr. Philip Green, OAM were also present at the Press conference.

MoUs exchanged in skill development during the session was between Deakin University and National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC). In partnership with India’s National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), Deakin University has developed the ‘Global Job Readiness Program’ (GJRP) to address skills shortages in India. This 30-hour program will be delivered online and aims to upskill 15 million Indians over three years. The GJRP focuses on skills in highest demand among employers. Its mission is to produce a program to address the gap in life and workplace skills that Indian employers regularly point to as a hindrance to business and ensure the program is both affordable and accessible to the majority of India’s youth.

Click Here to read about all 5 MoUs exchanged at the meeting