New Delhi, Nov 1 (PTI) India and Germany signed a joint declaration of intent on Friday for cooperation in the field of skills development and vocational education and training, and agreed to take further steps to increase student exchange between the two countries.
According to a joint statement issued after the fifth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the two sides welcomed the "Indo-German Partnerships on Higher Education".
"We have discussed issues of education and research cooperation. We have a long tradition of cooperation in this field and 20,000 Indian nationals are studying in this field and we would like to see even more, and especially when it comes to vocational training. We want exchange of teachers too, which will help us find the right teaching methods.
"It is a big part of our cooperation. We will be happy to engage in big infrastructure projects that you are envisaging and developing further in terms of sustainable development," Merkel said.
The two countries also signed an addendum to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between them on cooperation in the field of higher education for extension of the period of Indo-German partnership in higher education and an MoU on the extension of Indo-German partnership in higher education.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the growing exchanges between the two countries in the field of education, welcomed the "Indo-German Partnerships on Higher Education" (IGP) as part of the overall programme -- "A New Passage to India" (ANPtI) -- and agreed to take further steps to increase the number of Indian students studying in Germany, which presently stands at 20,800, and the number of German students studying in India, the joint statement said.
"Simultaneously, both sides recognised the importance of promotion of teaching modern Indian languages in German educational institutions as envisaged in the Joint Declaration of Intent signed in 2015," it added.
Merkel, accompanied by the German ministers of foreign affairs, science and education, food and agriculture, and an official delegation, arrived here on Thursday for the IGC.
"Both leaders expressed their appreciation for the long-standing research partnership within the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre, IGSTC, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2020. They also appreciated the university cooperation of TU9 and IIT, which is to be extended, as well as the Indo-German Centre of Sustainability," the statement said.
Considering the role of traditional medicines, ayurveda and yoga in providing healthcare to people for their well-being and also considering the great role played by traditional medicines in India's primary healthcare, both countries agreed to further evaluate the impact of traditional medicines, especially yoga and ayurveda, for the benefit of people.
"Bilateral projects, which identify areas for collaboration in education, research and practices of traditional medicines while ensuring the quality standards and also by encouraging investment in traditional medicines-related infrastructure, are highly appreciated," the joint statement said. PTI GJS RC