US, India can lead world in education: John Kerry
India and the US have the capacity to lead global education, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday as several institutions from the two countries announced tie-ups and collaborations.

Kerry, on a three-day official visit to India, said the two countries needed to lead the way as a large young population has to be trained.

"There are gigantic challenges. People don't just have to be trained for work, they need to be trained so that they can take part in democracy, so that they know how to decide between fiction and fact. This is something India and the US have the capacity to share with the world," Kerry said.

He said the partnership is two-way, and students from the US are also coming to India.

"More exchange promises broadening of horizons," he said.

Welcoming the partnership, Human Resource Development Minister MM Pallam Raju said skill development was a key area of focus for India, and US partnership in this field would help.

"The median age of India's population is 28 years. Skill development is an important area. Institution-level collaboration with the community colleges in the US would help," he said.

This is the third round of talks under the Singh-Obama initiative.

Eight memoranda of understanding were signed between the two countries. These include the Harvard-India Nutrition Initiative between Harvard School of Public Health and St John's Research Institute, Bangalore; an MoU between Aligarh Muslim University and Ohio State University, and between Assam Agricultural University and Washington State University.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama announced the Obama-Singh Initiative in November 2009 as an affirmation of their commitment to building an enhanced India-US partnership in education. Each government pledged USD 5 million for this endeavour, for a total of USD 10 million.