New Delhi: India and France on Saturday inked an agreement to recognize each other’s academic qualifications paving way for a stronger education exchange and labour mobility in future.
Underlining the “long-standing relationship" between France and India, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar termed the “mutual recognition of educational qualifications" between France and India as historic.
“It is historic…for the first time, a government to government MoU (memorandum of understanding) has been signed to mutually recognize academic qualifications. It will help the student community. There used to be only bilateral arrangements between institutions to institutions," he said in New Delhi. “I hope more and more countries, like France, will come forward for mutual recognition of academic qualifications so that the mobility of students and professionals improves," Javadekar added.
Frederique Vidal, French minister of higher education, research and innovation, said France is eager to attract more Indian students to study there. In 2017, 5,000 Indian students went to France to pursue higher education, a 60% jump over the previous year. France wishes to take this number to 10,000 by 2020.
If France succeeds in attracting that many students, it may be placed among top five countries for Indian students seeking foreign degrees and may become a key challenger to UK as an abroad educational destination for Indians.
The move will also allow better professional mobility meaning more doctors, lawyers, researchers, scientists and other skilled professionals from both the countries may move to practice or stay in each other countries.
Apart from the MoU on mutual recognition of academic qualifications between India and France, 15 MoUs between various institutions of India and France in the areas of higher education, research, innovation, faculty exchange and scientific cooperation were also exchanged.