India has sought academic collaboration with various US institutions to leverage the full potential of the education sector to meet the increasing needs of both the countries, particularly in the fields of information and technology.
"Our academic institutions have been slow to leverage the potential of technology for education. Knowledge networks that link research in the grand challenges of the world have also been slow to develop," Minister of India for human resources development, M Pallam Raju said yesterday.
Raju is leading a delegation of academicians and officials for the annual India-US Education Dialogue.
The US delegation include Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara Sonenshine, and the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake.
In his address, Raju said the digital world is challenging the traditional lecture-driven teaching in universities.
"With open content and open-access, we are seeing the early emergence of a meta-university, a concept pioneered by Charles West, as an accessible, empowering, communally constructed framework of open materials and platforms ushering the collaborative future of higher education," the minister said.
Reviewing the progress made so far, Sonenshine said the two countries have moved from strength to strength after a model of co-operation between Indian community colleges and that of Montgomery Community college was established in 2010.
"Now we have to keep up the momentum. We have to expand the opportunities and leave no stone unturned as we find ways to deliver high quality cost effective instruction so that students can access knowledge," she said.
Stressing at the importance of creating a job pool, Blake said, "There is no more important task for both of our countries than to create jobs. We have two knowledge based economies and the synergy of putting those together and creating technologies and new opportunities for our citizens is tremendous and enormous."
Besides community college collaborations and workforce development, expanding opportunities for US students in India and use of educational resources and technologies to expand access to improved quality of education were also discussed at the summit.