Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister of Human Resource Development, India will be visiting USA from 13th to 18th May, 2013. The visit would provide a boost to the existing collaborations with USA and to further strengthen Indian educational system and policy frameworks. The visit assumes significance in view of the forthcoming India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi in June-end 2013, of which the Higher Education Dialogue forms an important component. The Minister will meet US Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other senior functionaries of the Department of Education and State Department. He would also visit some select Educational Institutions in the US especially focusing on faculty development and establishment of community colleges in India. The visit will cover school education, higher education and skill development sector.
Dr. PallamRaju would also meet Governor of Maryland State Mr. Martin O’Malley, Congressmen Joe Crowley and Peter Roksam and India Caucus members as well as some senior World Bank officials. At Washington DC, he will lead a Roundtable Discussion on ‘Advancing US-India Academic Partnership’.Besides his engagements in Washington DC, the Minister will visit Temple University at Philadelphia and Boston University during the visit. He will participate in the 126th Commencement Ceremony at Temple University where he will be conferred with its highest honour, Honoris Causa, the Doctor of Humane Letters. He will also deliver the Graduation Speech at his alma mater, the Fox School of Business at Temple University (Dr. Pallam Raju received his Masters in Business Administration from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA, in 1985).
His meeting with leaders of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the visit to Montgomery College are particularly aimed at forging collaborations in the establishment of community colleges in India, in which significant progress at policy level has already been achieved. The visit to Montgomery College also focuses on cyber security, in which India expects to join hands with US institutions, and other specific areas like health and biotechnology. The Minister will also meet Indian academics and students in the US. A visit to Harvard Graduate School of Education has also been planned.
US being is the most favored foreign destination for Indian students, with more than 1,00,000 Indian students pursuing higher education, Government is keen to build a strong relationship with USA in the field of educationand skill development.
Significant progress in India-US educational relations has been achieved in the last few years, like the “Singh-Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative”which was launched during the visit of Prime Minister to the US in November 2009. Under this initiative two sides have provided funding of US$ 5 million to increase university linkages and junior faculty development exchanges between US and Indian universities. Joint Collaborations are progressing quite well for the research partnerships between the two countries. The Government is planning to start about 200 Community Colleges India and is keen to adopt the Community College Model of US, for which modalities of collaboration with US Institutions like AACC are being worked out. Government of India and the United States are jointly implementing the Fulbright Scholarship Programme under which the funds have been increased to US $7.06 million (from US $ 5 million) from the financial year 2010-11. For the year 2010-11, 180 US Nehru-Fulbright Scholars were selected, while 102 scholars have been selected from India. The Government has also initiated a scheme through University Grants Commission (UGC) to sponsor Indian researchers at the Post-Doctoral level and the first batch of 126 Indian Scholars is ready to go to the US Institutions for post-doctoral research. A value added programme for hosting US students in Indian Institutions, called “Connect India Programme” is also in the pipeline.