India, Japan Plan Partnership for Science, Technology Education

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Japan early next month, but even before his visit the two countries held discussions concerning ways in which they can cooperate in the fields of science and technology.

An article in OutlookIndia says that after a meeting in New Delhi with his Japanese counterpart Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of State Science and Technology Jitendra Singh stated that the two nations will be launching several joint programs.

The two countries are establishing an Indo-Japanese Science and Technology Committee which will collaborate on ocean and space technology.  Singh said that a Center for Disease Biology will likely be established in India with Japanese collaboration.  It was also proposed that India and Japan join together to share knowledge and resources through the National e-library initiative of the Indian government and in India’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

The Japanese Minister invited the Indian Minister to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development to be held at Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, November 10-12.  The Indian government is launching a Festival of India to Japan and asked for support of the Japanese government to make the event successful.  The Festival of India to Japan has been scheduled in two phases from October 3-31 and March-May 2015.  The Japanese leaders were invited to have a similar event in India so that the the people of each country can gain an understanding of one another.

In an article in the Deccan Chronicle, Shimomura said that he wanted to increase the number of Indian  students studying in Japan by at least 10 times over the next six years.  He also wants to see the exchange of education between the two countries grow.

The Japanese minister visited the site of the permanent campus for Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, which his country has assisted in funding.  In the spirit of cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is offering a Friendship Project to provide scholarships to IIT Hyderabad students going to Japanese universities for post graduate education.

Education experts have said that environment, energy, next-generation communication technologies, industrial design and manufacturing, nano-technology, and civil engineering will be areas of focus.

The Japan Education Fair 2014 was held August 4 in New Delhi with more than 1,300 students, parents, and visitors attending.  Rashmi Ranjan Parida, reporting for the India Education Diary, says that nine Japanese universities and one Japanese language school participated in the event.  Chairman of the fair, Takeshi Yagi, Japanese Ambassador to India, said:

 “It is a privilege to be here and it is pleasing to see so many students turn up to be a part of the fair. In recent years, both the Indian and the Japanese governments have acknowledged the importance of trade and exchange of goods and services between the nations. We are hoping the new Prime Minister would visit Japan sometime soon. We have seen a spurt in the activities between us however; there is a need for expansion of people-to-people.  The Japan Education Fair 2014 is a step in the right direction as it promotes interface of leading universities of Japan with the Indian students. We invite the Indian students to visit and study at Japan to better their prospects.”