Taking bilateral relations to a new level, Australia and India have agreed on several measures to make it easier for Indian professionals to work in Australia.
The Governments of Australia and India will establish a taskforce to develop qualifications recognition arrangements for Australia and India to enhance two-way mobility.
The taskforce, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, will address the recognition of online and blended learning, joint degrees and offshore campuses.
Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert, said the taskforce would consult with stakeholders to identify opportunities for the recognition of Australian and Indian higher education qualifications, and to make recommendations to improve arrangements based on best principles and practices in recognition.
‘Australia has a longstanding and strong relationship with India across education, skills and research,’ Minister Robert said.
‘The taskforce will pave the way for new opportunities for graduates of both India and Australia to use their qualifications.
‘This collaboration will serve both countries by expanding cooperation in education, and optimising mobility outcomes for Australian and Indian students and graduates, and our education institutions.
‘Improved qualifications recognition arrangements will also underpin trade in professional services between Australia and India.’
The initiative will support implementation of the Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030, which strengthens bilateral education cooperation on the recognition of Australian qualifications to support sustainable growth of Australia’s high quality education services offshore.
The taskforce will deliver a mechanism for expanding education qualification recognition between Australia and India by the end of the year, with implementation to take place in 2023.
‘Education remains key to the bilateral relationship between Australia and India,’ Minister Robert said.
‘This important work showcases that Indian students continue to be a valuable part of our community.’
Annual Virtual Meeting
The Indian and Australian Prime Ministers held their annual virtual summit on Monday.
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison initiated the conversation by addressing Narendra Modi in Gujarati.
“Kem Cho from Brisbane, Prime Minister Modi. Thank you for joining us today for our Virtual Annual Leaders’ Meeting. I very much wish we could be together with you in person, but that day I hope, will soon come,” he said in his opening remarks.
He congratulated Mr Modi on his party’s five election victories in the states recently.
“That must have been a tremendous result for you, and I congratulate you,” said Mr Morrison.
The Ukraine conflict was at the centre of discussion, with Mr Morrison saying, “Our meeting today is, of course, set against the very distressing backdrop of the war in Europe, which must never happen in our own region, and I very much want to thank you for the partnership that we have. While we are obviously distressed at the terrible situation in Europe, our focus, of course, is always very much on what is occurring in the Indo-Pacific and ensuring that those events could never occur here in the Indo-Pacific.”
The India Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences for the recent loss of lives and property in Australia due to natural calamities.
“Scott, good afternoon. Thank you for your good wishes for Holi and also your congratulations for my election victory. I’m very grateful to you for that. On behalf of all Indians, I would like to express my condolences for the loss of lives and property due to the floods in Queensland and New South Wales,” he said in his opening remarks.
“Excellency, in the last few years, we have made significant progress in our relations. We have very close cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, defence and security, education and innovation, science and technology. In all of these areas we have very close cooperation. There are many other sectors as well in which we have practical cooperation between us. For example, critical minerals, water management, new and renewable energy and technology, COVID-19 related research, and our cooperation has been moving forward at a fast pace in all these areas,” said Mr Modi.
He welcomed Australia’s announcement of establishing a Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technologies in Bangalore.
“It is essential that we have better cooperation between us in the areas of cyber and critical and emerging technologies. As countries that share similar values, it is our responsibility to adopt appropriate global standards for these emerging technologies,” he said.
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla said the summit concluded that “conflict in Europe shouldn’t be a reason to divert our focus from the Indo Pacific region.”
Shringla also said that “Scott Morrison expressed understanding for India’s position on the issue of Ukraine which reflected our own situation.”