India, Canada to deepen educational ties

Ottawa: The first-ever Education Summit between India and Canada ended at Carleton University with the two sides committing themselves to deepening ties in research and higher education.

Daggubati Purandeswari, India’s minister of state for human resource development, said the summit will further deepen the India-Canada relationship in education and research which received a major boost with the signing a higher education accord by the countries last year during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit for the G20 summit.

“The relationship between the two countries has come so far over the past five years. We look forward to accelerating deliverables as part of the Canada-India Memorandum of Understanding in higher education cooperation,” said Purandeswari who headed the Indian delegation in the absence of HRD minister Kapil Sibal.

She said the Indian government has introduced various legislative measures, including the Right to Education, to take education to the masses.

In his plenary address, Canadian foreign minister John Baird said the Education Summit is “an important step in developing bilateral academic relations after the signing of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Education during PM Manmohan Singh’s visit in June last year.”

He said the newly created Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy will raise awareness about bilateral studies and public diplomacy, and develop initiatives to build a better understanding of both countries.

Indian High Commissioner S. M. Gavai highlighted India’s thrust on education to sustain its high levels of development.

“I strongly believe that foreign universities can add enormous value to what we would be doing in India.” the Indian envoy said.

Prominent participants from India included ‘Green Revolution’ pioneer M.S. Swaminathan, UGC chairman Ved Prakash, IGNOU vice chancellor V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Delhi University vice chancellor Dinesh Singh,

Calcutta University vice chancellor Suranjan Das, Panjab University vice chancellor R.C. Sobti and Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute president Sunaina Singh.

The summit was held jointly by the Indian high commission, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute that promotes educational ties between India and Canada. By Gurmukh Singh