P. S. Suryanarayana

SINGAPORE: India and Malaysia on Tuesday agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in education.

As a prelude, the two countries set up a task force “to look at issues of equivalence of the degrees in India and Malaysia.” The norms of “equivalence” will facilitate the mutual recognition of each other’s educational degrees.

These steps were decided upon at a meeting between Malaysia’s Minister for Higher Education Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal in Kuala Lumpur. The two met on the sidelines of the 17th conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers. India’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Ashok Kantha took part in the talks.

Mr. Sibal later said on the phone that a draft MoU was “more or less, in substance, agreed to.”

The objective was to “expedite the umbrella MoU on a road map for the future” in the overall context of “an enormous potential for investment in India and Malaysia in the education sector.”

On the move for a foreign education Bill in India, Mr. Sibal said: “We have not discussed it in the Cabinet yet. I intend to move it, get a consensus and then move forward.”

At the conference, Mr. Sibal called for country-specific education strategies to meet the global need for skills that could “match the pace of technology.”

India and China had the potential as “suppliers to the world” in this dynamic situation.