India, NZ launch Education Initiative worth Rs. 3.6 crore
This Collaboration will promote partnerships in two key streams
higher education and research, and skills and vocational education.
Pushing for an early free trade area (FTA) agreement, India and New Zealand, home
to some of the most exotic landscapes, on Tuesday 28th June, signed a pact for the
joint production of films and launched an ambitious education initiative that will
spur collaboration in high-end research.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held delegation-level talks with his New Zealand counterpart
John Key on a wide range of issues, including the intensification of ties in the
economic, energy, environment and agriculture-related technologies sectors.
New Zealand, a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, also assured India that the
new guidelines tightening the export of enrichment and reprocessing technologies
will not affect the clean waiver given by the NSG to New Delhi in September 2008.
Manmohan Singh underlined that New Zealand had proven strengths in the dairy, agriculture,
food processing and renewable energy sectors and pitched for greater cooperation
in these areas.
A joint education initiative was among the highlights of the talks between the two
This jointly-funded initiative, worth NZ $1 million annually (around Rs. 3.6 crore),
will promote partnerships in two key streams higher education and research and skills
and vocational education.
The initiative will focus on areas such as academic and student exchanges, joint
research activities, and industry collaborations, said the joint statement. Nearly
12,000 Indian students study in New Zealand, contributing around $1 billion to the
economy of the host country.
Two pacts on audio-visual co-productions and a protocol for cooperation on science
and innovation were signed after the talks.
This agreement on co-audio-visual production will allow both sides to encourage
industry level cooperation, share creative talent, and support the vibrant film
industry in both countries. More than 100 Indian films have been shot in picturesque
locales in New Zealand.
In a gesture that underlines the importance of Bollywood to bilateral ties, Key
will be visiting Film City in Mumbai on Wednesday 29th June.
Pointing to New Zealand's influence in the Asia Pacific region, Manmohan Singh called
for cooperation in combating piracy and joint efforts to ensure the safety of sea
lanes of communications.
India also urged New Zealand to transfer its state of the art technology and increase
investment in the country's agro-food processing industry, which offers investment
opportunity of over $200 billion.
Courtesy: DNA India