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USIBC launches new education initiative

Last updated on: June 3, 2010 04:58 IST

Image: Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi,(Left) welcomes External Affairs Minister SM Krishna (centre) with Terry McGraw (right) to the USIBC's gala in Washington, DC
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi Lalit K Jha in Washington
Looking ahead to global economy of the future, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) has announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at strengthening institutional linkages between academia, industry and NGOs focusing on the elementary, vocational and higher education sectors in both countries.
"The US and India must be committed partners in building the workforce of tomorrow, a partnership that will unleash opportunity, spur growth and sustain prosperity not just in our countries but across the global community," Harold McGraw III, incoming USIBC chairman and chairman, president and CEO
of The McGraw-Hill Companies said.
"To do this, we must focus on strengthening our educational ties at every level. By working together our two countries can equip the next generation with the education and skills necessary to compete and win in the global economy," he said.

'Families from both societies value education very highly'

Image: Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao at the USIBC gala
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
The Education Initiative will serve as a dynamic platform for business, NGOs, and academia to provide vital input into both the US and Indian governments--such that the synergies between American and Indian business and educational communities are unleashed, the USIBC said in a statement.
"We can talk about strategic, defense, civil nuclear, renewable energy and every other type of commercial cooperation, but if we do not develop the skill sets in our respective societies to sustain such collaboration, all this talk will never be successfully converted to action," Ron Somers president USIBC noted.
"How fortunate it is that families across all walks of life in both our societies so highly value education. We have much to learn from one another, and much to accomplish - to prepare for the challenges of the 21st Century," Somers said.

The initiative will focus on higher education

Image: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal (Left) with US Secy of State for education, Aren Duncan and Rajat Gupta
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
The USIBC Education initiative will focus on three thrust areas - Higher education, elementary K-12 education and vocational training and skill development.
The USIBC will host the US-India Higher Education Forum (HEF) at the invitation of the US and Indian governments. The HEF will serve as the premier platform to enlist academia, industry and NGOs to strengthen linkages between US and Indian educational institutions from both countries. 

The HEF will provide a formalised network for industry, academia and the NGO community to provide direct policy input to the US and Indian governments in all areas of education, with an aim to facilitate greater collaboration, including the opening of India's higher education sector.

'Corporations will participate in human capacity building'

Image: Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal speaks at the USIBC gala in Washington, DC
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
Further USIBC has embarked on a survey of rural and urban, private and public K-12 schools throughout India to identify best practices that are working well in educating students, while assessing needs where industry, NGOs and government may join together to fill gaps.
With the support of Ryan International Group, one of India's leading educators, both financial and intellectual resources will be mobilised to transform these and other schools in a manner that promotes replication of successful models across India, USIBC said.
The USIBC will partner with its member-companies to feature Case Studies of Vocational Training and Skills Development that are being implemented across India. The exercise will attempt to enlist more corporations to participate in this important area of human capacity building. Programmes helping to train thousands of workers will generate employment opportunities and sustain economic growth now and for the long future - in both countries.
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