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India, China discuss cooperation in education at first JWG meet



India and China on Wednesday held their first Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on education here during which the two sides discussed various aspects of respective educational systems as well as explored areas of cooperation.

“Discussion was also held on exploring the possibility of signing an agreement on mutual recognition of qualifications as well as promoting greater student exchange,” said a press release by the Indian Embassy here.

The Indian side made presentation on the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) and Study in India programme, it said.

The Indian delegation was led by Madan Mohan, Additional Director General (ICC), Ministry of Human Resource Development of India, and the Chinese side was headed by Fang Jun, Deputy Director General, Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education of China.

At present over 23,000 Indian students are studying different courses in Chinese universities. Of them, over 21,000 have enrolled to study medicine. Considering the growing demand, China recently designated 45 medical colleges out of 200 to teach MBBS course in English. The other colleges conduct Chinese/English courses in medicine.

Compared to Indian students, fewer number of Chinese students are studying in India. Some of the Indian universities are trying to woo Chinese students specially for IT and other engineering courses.

Recently, India barred its universities from entering into any agreement for exchange programmes with the institutions in China without prior clearance from the Ministries of External and Home Affairs.

During Wednesday’s talks, both sides agreed to undertake activities such as school students exchanges, organise seminar on education in China and other collaborative activities as part of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China, the release

“They also recognised that educational exchanges are important component of people-to-people exchange between the two countries and welcomed greater mobility of students to study in each other’s countries and facilitate greater faculty exchanges,” it said.

On Tuesday, the Indian delegation visited China’s Open University and interacted with its Vice President Yang Xiaotang and explored opportunities of mutual cooperation with the Indian open university system.

The next meeting of the JWG would be held in India next year.

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