Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh on Thursday said an MoU was signed between India and France to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications between the two countries, paving the way for a stronger education exchange and labour mobility in future.
While replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, the minister said the MoU was signed during the recent visit of French dignitaries to India.
“Signing of MoU with a foreign country is not a unilateral course of action and verily depends on various factors such as education system prevailing in that country, response of the foreign country, bilateral relations, mutual benefit to be accrued by signing such kind of MOUs, etc,”
“In some cases, it can materialize soon whereas in other cases it may not materialize or take time,” he said, adding, “In other words, agreement with a country evolves during the course of negotiations and as such it cannot be predicted/planned in advance.”
Last month, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had congratulated the governments of both the countries for signing agreements on mutual recognition of academic qualifications.
“This agreement will go a long way in boosting the educational relationship between the two countries and will encourage mobility of students from both the countries by facilitating possibilities for them to continue their studies in the other country and would also promote excellence in higher education through cooperation, university and research exchanges,” he had said.
The HRD minister had also expressed that both the countries should look at the possibilities of allowing professionals to practice in each other’s country on reciprocity basis.
Apart from the MoU on mutual recognition of academic qualifications, 15 MoUs between various institutions of India and France were also signed in the areas of higher education, research, innovation, faculty exchange and scientific cooperation.
Meanwhile, Satya Pal Singh, in reply to another question in Rajya Sabha, said the government has taken a number of steps to facilitate engagement of foreign faculty in the IITs.
“In order to address shortage of faculty in premier educational institutions, including Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), various measures have been decided, especially for recruitment of foreign faculty,” the minister said, adding, “These include creation of pan-IIT faculty pool, effective use of VAJRA Scheme of Department of Science & Technology (DST), appointment of eligible OCI Card holders as permanent faculty, hassle-free visa to foreign faculty, reducing of annual income ceiling from US$ 25,000 to INR 9.10 lakh per year.”
The minister also informed that the government has launched the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) to enable foreign faculty to teach courses in the higher educational institutions in India.