A globalised world has made it imperative to cut across borders and start a dialogue between the countries for selecting new frontiers of knowledge. With new challenges thrown up by globalisation of higher education, such collaboration across borders makes it possible for governments to meet newer challenges in terms of quality assurance system. India’s cooperation with other countries in the education sector is age-old. In fact, the educational cooperation has been part of India’s cultural agreements with its neighbouring as well as other countries. So far, India has entered into such cultural agreements with about 118 countries and in the Central Government, Ministry of HRD’s UNESCO Division had an External Academic Relations Unit, which handles such bilateral relations. However, with the expansion of the education sector and internationalisation of education in the recent years, the Ministry has set up an International Cooperation Cell (ICC), which coordinates the work related to bilateral and international cooperation in education sector.
Apart from undertaking the Educational Exchange Programmes (EEPs), the ICC also plays an active role in Joint Commission Meetings (JCMs) and other economic/technical forums for cooperation with other countries.
The Ministry is also playing a significant role in promoting educational standards across the globe by being part of international organizations like Commonwealth, SAARC and UNESCO. Besides, the Ministry is also a part of multilateral bodies like ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Arab League, Indian Ocean RIM, OECD, EU, etc.