The MoUs, 12 of which with Canadian colleges as well as an umbrella MoU with Colleges and Institutes Canada, will facilitate collaborations for skill development in a variety of different sectors, including water, aviation and hydrocarbon.
The agreements were endorsed by both Prime Ministers during Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada
The agreements were endorsed by both Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to Canada last week, the first in 42 years.
In 2009, under the National Policy on Skill Development in India, a target to train 500 million people before 2022 was set and the NSDC has been charged with training 150 million.
Cynthia Murphy, director of the Canadian Immigrant Integration Programme at Colleges and Institutes Canada, told The PIE News that with the looming deadline, development under these MoUs is moving very quickly.
“We all know of MoUs that are signed that don’t have a lot of activity – that’s not happening with this group,” she said.
“The NSDC is incredibly motivated and keen to get work happening under these MoUs. Each institution set its own goals within its own sector, but the time frame is of the essence.”
According to CIC figures, last year Canadian colleges and institutes hosted more than 8,000 Indian students– more than the number at universities, language schools, primary and secondary schools combined.
Education in general was one of the key areas that both Prime Ministers agreed to prioritise for bilateral engagement.
Canada also listed India as one of the priority countries to work with in its international education strategy last year.
Modi’s visit followed trips to Germany and France where he signed a two-year residence permit for Indian graduates with French president Francois Holland.
Murphy said that while on this trip Modi connected with the diaspora, but also with business and industry.
“There’s tremendous scope and lots to demonstrate the intent as well as the ability to get things accomplished”
“It’s very much about building partnerships in several key sectors, and education being one of them,” she said. “It’s on the government’s agenda, it’s one of the priorities listed, and it is incredibly important to both countries.”
Despite the initial momentum of the collaborations, Husain Neemuchwala, CEO of the India-Canada Education Council said Modi has a lot to prove in the face of India’s upskilling needs.
“The government has only been in power for the past ten months or so,” he commented. “I think there’s tremendous scope and lots to demonstrate the intent as well as the ability to get things accomplished.”
He added: “I think there’s a lot to undertake at this point to demonstrate that they are able and capable and they mean what they say.”