Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for Human Resource Development and Dr. (Mrs.) Johanna Wanka, German Minister of Education and Research held bilateral discussions today in New Delhi. The Ministers exchanged views on a range of issues related to enhancement and deepening of traditional ties. These covered collaboration in science and technology, skills development, the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) as well as cooperation in the field of promotion of languages of each country in the other. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress made in the bilateral relations.
After the talks, India and Germany signed two Joint Declarations of Intent (JDIs) and an MoU for enhancing cooperation in education. The two JDIs and the MoU were signed in the presence of Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for Human Resource Development and Dr. (Mrs.) Johanna Wanka, German Minister of Education and Research.
The first JDI seeks to implement a new programme titled “lndo-German Partnerships (IGP) in Higher Education” over four years from 2016-2020 to encourage and support cooperation between higher education institutions in each country. The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany, the respective implementing agencies for the JDI also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for operationalization of the cooperation between the two countries in the field of the Higher Education.
The MoU will develop a joint partnership programme aimed at enhancing long-term partnerships between German and Indian institutions of higher education. New and innovative areas of cooperation would be opened, enabling participating institutions to develop teaching and research profiles and contribute to their internationalization strategies. Each side will contribute 3.5 million Euros for the initial programme period of four years. The IGP will fund a number of projects, which would be identified based on a competitive selection process. By concentrating on top-level strategic partnerships, the programme aims to improve the overall quality of teaching and research and to strengthen inter-disciplinarity within the participating institutions.
The second JDI is regarding the promotion of German as a foreign language in India and promotion of modern Indian languages in Germany. As part of the JDI on promotion of each other’s languages, students in Kendriya Vidaylaya (KVs) will be able to opt for the German language as an additional foreign language, in conformity with the National Education Policy of India. The JDI will be operationalised, in India through collaboration between the Max Mueller Bhavan and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), and in Germany through nodal agencies to be identified shortly.
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