Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Speech by Deputy High Commissioner at the launch of DeakinCo. and Tata Management Training Centre partnership

Virtual Launch Event to introduce the Blended programs between Deakin Co. and Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC)

18 September 2020

(Check against delivery)

Thank you Ravneet for your kind introduction.

It is a real pleasure to join you all here today to celebrate a great Australia‑India education partnership.

Education, research and skills are central to the Australia-India relationship.

This was recognised by Prime Ministers Modi and Morrison when they recently joined in a virtual summit and elevated our ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership or CSP.

Prime Ministers Modi and Morrison have said that,

the CSP is based on mutual understanding, trust, common interests and the shared values of democracy and rule of law.

Education has long been at the core of our relationship as it fundamentally reflects our shared values and is critical to progressing our mutual interests. The CSP recognises that:

Education, research and skills are a central component of the relationship. [It notes]... they underpin the progress and growth trajectories of our nations, and the exchange of students and academics between our countries generates valuable people-to-people links. 

Education underpins the progress of our nations and our recovery from COVID-19. As India continues its ambitious skills reform agenda, there are many opportunities for collaboration with Australia.

The DeakinCo. and TMTC partnership is a great example of a world-class Australian institute working with a world-class Indian company to build a stronger, more productive workforce.

Creating HR and skilling dialogues and training the workforce are important to expand collaboration in fostering bilateral trade ties and helping businesses grow.

To realise joint ambitions for the relationship, such training partnerships like this one will not just facilitate employable workforce needs, but will help in converging business interests, discerning the upcoming trends that will aid both countries' economies.

As many of you will remember, Australia’s Minister for Education, Dan Tehan visited New Delhi last year to deepen the Australia-India education relationship.

A strong delegation of leaders in Australia’s education joined Minister Tehan, including Professor Iain Martin representing Deakin University.

The visit highlighted the strengths of the education relationship between Australia and India and sought to boost momentum in research collaboration and education partnerships.

Importantly, during the visit Minister Tehan joined India’s Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal at the fifth meeting of the Australia India Education Council, the AIEC.

At the AIEC both ministers recognised the importance of institutional partnerships in strengthening collaboration among students, academics and universities, and noted their interest in establishing deeper partnerships.

Which is why it is great that we are here today celebrating this partnership.

Importantly the partnership capitalises on the strong people-to-people links that characterise our bilateral relationship. 

Like many invested in continuing to grow and strengthen the Australia‑India relationship, I am excited by the emerging opportunities in the field of vocational education and training.

As India continues its ambitious skills reform agenda, we have concluded a new Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to forge new bonds of cooperation in policy development, program delivery and information exchange.

The MoU signed under the umbrella of the CSP is indicative of the excellent opportunity for Australia and India to continue developing strong partnerships, which is of growing significance when we consider the challenges posed by COVID-19.

The human impact of the pandemic is being realised not just in the devastating health outcomes but also in terms of its economic impacts.

Now more than ever we will need to recognise the significance of aligning education aspirations with opportunities in industry to support the momentum of a recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Partnerships, like the one between DeakinCo and TMTC reflect the importance of the bilateral education relationship in supporting such outcomes.

India’s new National Education Policy, the NEP, is a perfect opportunity for Australia and India to continue developing these important partnerships.

It is exciting and impressive to see the Indian Government pressing ahead at great speed to implement the transformational policy agenda, even during these COVID-19 times.

We acknowledge the Modi Government’s continuing efforts to capitalise on India’s demographic dividend and to provide the growing working age population the education and skills to build the road to economic recovery and future prosperity.

Structural reform is being implemented and the NEP is a great example of that. COVID-19 has rushed in digitisation, such as greater online education delivery, which will drive productivity, market penetration and better service delivery.

Now more than ever the strength and momentum of the India and Australia relationship is critical and our education systems are becoming increasingly aligned.

Throughout this pandemic and through the recovery we will continue to work together and education will continue to drive our strong bond.

In closing, I would like to recognise the importance of Deakin University’s commitment to the Australia-India education relationship. Deakin has developed into a key conduit of the Australia-India education relationship and has been a leader in supporting student and researcher mobility, as well as academic and industry partnerships.

Congratulation on this wonderful partnership.