The United States and India are two of the largest economies and home to some of the world’s most innovative individuals. While a cornerstone of the U.S.-India partnership is mutually beneficial global economic development, both countries face a significant challenge in improving education and enabling their vast human capital to succeed.
What are India’s challenges and successes in the development of human capital, and what are the bilateral opportunities for collaboration in skill development and education? Indian Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal addressed this question in his remarks. Arbind Prasad, director general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, provided comments. Carnegie’s Jessica T. Mathews moderated.
Sibal and Prasad outlined several ways in which India could re-vamp its higher education system:
Sibal asserted that the second challenge India must meet is that of adequately teaching skills to Indian students who choose not to pursue higher education. India has an enormous demand for skilled workers, but it lacks the supply.
Sibal concluded by arguing that other countries also needed to change their mindset to reflect that the world has become a global community, and that education is no longer limited by borders. He pointed to the United States as an example: today, the American educational system is too expensive, as is American manufacturing and services. Over the last decade, American manufacturing moved to China, and American services moved to India, because economically, it was the only sustainable way to proceed. Sibal argued that education will increasingly be outsourced as well – so long as quality remains the same, if the costs of education are cheaper abroad, education will become more international in character. Sibal asserted that in the future, the world is likely to see more “meta-universities” located in cyberspace rather than brick-and-mortar institutions, as well as an increase in collaborative research across schools and countries.
This event was co-sponsored by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
The Carnegie South Asia Program informs policy debates relating to the region’s security, economy, and political development. From the war in Afghanistan to Pakistan’s internal dynamics to U.S. engagement with India, the Program’s renowned team of experts offer in-depth analysis derived from their unique access to the people and places defining South Asia’s most critical challenges.
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