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USIBC Launches New Educational Initiative Bookmark and Share  
  Author Name : K Ramesh Babu Posted on : June-3-2010 Total Hits: 15480
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 On the occasion of its 35th anniversary, and looking ahead to the global economy of the future, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at strengthening institutional linkages between academia, industry and NGOs focusing on the elementary, vocational and higher education sectors in both countries.  

"The United States and India must be committed partners in building the workforce of tomorrow, a partnership that will unleash opportunity, spur growth and sustain prosperity not just in our countries but across the global community," said Harold McGraw III, incoming USIBC Chairman and Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies.  "To do this, we must focus on strengthening our educational ties at every level.  By working together our two countries can equip the next generation with the education and skills necessary to compete and win in the global economy."   

Mr. McGraw gave the keynote address before a packed audience of over 400 U.S. and Indian business, government, and education leaders at USIBC's 35th Anniversary Summit, entitled "A Pivotal Period in U.S.-India Relations: Tackling Education, Infrastructure and Inclusive Growth." 

On the eve of the first-ever U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, India's Union Minister of External Affairs, SM Krishna, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, India's Minister of Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal, and India's Ambassador to the United States, Meera Shankar, joined hundreds of top business leaders in Washington to participate in the U.S.-India Business Council 35th anniversary deliberations.     

USIBC's Education Initiative will serve as a dynamic platform for business, NGOs, and academia to provide vital input into both the U.S. and Indian governments - such that the synergies between American and Indian business and educational communities are unleashed.  

"We can talk about strategic, defense, civil nuclear, renewable energy and every other type of commercial cooperation, but if we do not develop the skill sets in our respective societies to sustain such collaboration, all this talk will never be successfully converted to action," Ron Somers, President of the U.S.-India Business Council, noted. "How fortunate it is that families across all walks of life in both our societies so highly value education. We have much to learn from one another, and much to accomplish - to prepare for the challenges of the 21st Century," Somers said.   

The USIBC Education initiative will focus on three thrust areas:   

1.      Higher Education:  USIBC will host the U.S.-India Higher Education Forum (HEF) at the invitation of the U.S. and Indian governments. The HEF will serve as the premier platform to enlist academia, industry and NGOs to strengthen linkages between U.S. and Indian educational institutions from both countries.  The HEF will provide a formalized network for industry, academia and the NGO community to provide direct policy input to the U.S. and Indian governments in all areas of education, with an aim to facilitate greater collaboration, including the opening of India's higher education sector.  


2.      Elementary K-12 Education : USIBC has embarked on a survey of rural and urban, private and public K-12 schools throughout India to identify best practices that are working well in educating students, while assessing needs where industry, NGOs and government may join together to fill gaps. With the support of Ryan International Group, one of India's leading educators, both financial and intellectual resources will be mobilized to transform these and other schools in a manner that promotes replication of successful models across India.  


3.      Vocational Training and Skills Development :  USIBC will partner with its member-companies to feature Case Studies of Vocational Training and Skills Development that are being implemented across India. The exercise will attempt to enlist more corporations to participate in this important area of human capacity building. Programs helping to train thousands of workers will generate employment opportunities and sustain economic growth now and for the long future - in both countries.   

India is embarked on expanding its community college system, including technical training institutions, as well as inviting interest in implementing 30,000 new colleges and 1,500 universities over the next decade.   

The United States continues to be the most sought after destination for Indian students studying overseas, attracting as many as 113,000 each year to American universities and colleges. The U.S. wishes to remain a magnet for attracting the best and the brightest from around the world by promoting institutional partnerships between U.S. based educational institutions and new counterparts. Integral to this core knowledge infrastructure, industry must be involved in this enterprise.

The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, J.D. Power and Associates and Platts. McGraw-Hill established business operations in India 40 years ago. Through its partnership with CRISIL, India's leading ratings, research, and risk and policy advisory company, Standard & Poor's is helping facilitate access to capital to drive economic growth and job creation in the country. Through its partnership with Tata, McGraw-Hill Education is delivering innovative, digital solutions to help workers acquire the 21st century skills they need to succeed in today's global economy.  India is home to McGraw-Hill's largest employee population outside of the U.S. and is the company's fourth largest market.

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