US-India Working Group on Education and Skill Development holds inaugural meeting

US officials during the first meeting of the US-India Working Group on Education and Skill Development on May 22, 2023. Twitter Photo: State_SCA

Washington DC: US leaders are optimistic about the positive outcomes of the inaugural meeting May 22, 2023, of the US-India Working Group on Education and Skill Development, the establishment of which was announced last year.

Attended by senior officials from the State Department and India’s Ministry of Education, the meeting which was held in a hybrid format, was co-chaired by Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) Donald Lu, and Joint Secretary for International Cooperation, India’s Ministry of Education, Neeta Prasad.

Indian officials during the first meeting of the US-India Working Group on Education and Skill Development on May 22, 2023. Twitter Photo: State_SCA

The discussions centered around various areas such as skilling and vocational education, certification and recognition, fostering connections between higher educational institutions in the US and India, and engaging with the private sector.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for India at SCA, Nancy Jackson, a participant at the meeting told News India Times, “The United States and India enjoy a deep and broad partnership. We work together on a wide range of issues to advance our shared priorities through multiple forums, and we are excited that this Working Group will further strengthen US-India cooperation in the field of higher education and skills development.”

The State Department in its statement, said, “The Assistant Secretary stressed the importance of these educational connections to our shared economic prosperity, and highlighted that the United States and India enjoy strong people-to-people ties in large part due to the numerous Indian students and faculty in the United States, and our growing network of educational exchanges.”

India’s Ministry of Education said, “Both sides acknowledged the importance of skilling and vocational education in the industry centered era. Recognizing the need to align skills training programs with industry requirements, both sides agreed to foster partnerships between educational institutions, industry stakeholders, and relevant government agencies. This collaboration aims to address skills gaps, enhance employability, and promote entrepreneurship in both the countries.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, ranking member on the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, told News India Times, “This Working Group serves as an ideal forum for both our governments to exchange perspectives and strategies for skills development, career and technical education, and partnerships between American and Indian education institutions and employers that can harness this potential.”

Dean of the George Washington University (GWU) School of Business, Anuj Mehrotra, told News India Times, “The establishment of the India-US Working Group on Education and Skill Development addresses several timely and important objectives. With its focus on upskilling and reskilling, improving employability, and supporting entrepreneurship, it will help meet growing industry and market demand for skilled workforce and advance collaboration between India and US.”

Mehrotra stressed business schools such as GWU, “will be at the frontlines, working alongside government and industry to ensure that the supply of graduates with these skills matches the demand of employers in both countries.”



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