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India and UK sign 3 pacts including on recognition of higher education degrees

India and UK on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) officially recognising each other’s higher education qualifications, which will pave the way for greater mobility for Indian students to take up postgraduate courses in Britain.

A-levels and their equivalents, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees, will be recognised in India thanks to the MoU, which is a component of the enhanced trade partnership between India and the UK that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson agreed upon last year. Indian senior secondary school diplomas or equivalents will be accepted for admission to British universities.

A framework agreement on negotiating a system of reciprocal arrangements for recognising the credentials and licences of various categories of nursing professionals, as well as an MoU for recognising the certification of Indian sailors for service on UK-flagged vessels, were also signed by the two parties.

The MoU on recognising educational qualifications will allow Indian students who graduate from British universities to apply for postgraduate courses or to embark on government careers requiring university qualifications on returning home.

British degrees will be recognised as being equivalent to Indian degrees, according to Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, while the MoU excludes degrees in professions including medical, pharmacy, engineering, and architecture.

The MoU would make it easier for British people to study in India and allow universities to design courses that may be offered in both nations.

India is a popular choice for British students travelling overseas as part of the Turing Scheme foreign education programme, as seen by the 84,555 Indian students who studied in the UK in 2020–21.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the minister of state for international trade for Britain, stated: “Now, we are thrilled to deliver on our pledge to clear trade barriers between our two nations and make UK higher education even easier to access and more enticing to Indian students.”

The UK will collaborate with India’s health ministry to encourage improved nurse training in Indian states for applicants looking to work for the National Health Service, according to the framework agreement for collaboration on the healthcare workforce (NHS). This kind of instruction will be based on UK national standards already in place, including the degree of English language proficiency demanded by professional regulators.

The UK will also look for ways to strengthen the education of nurses who specialise in areas like mental health, emergency care, critical care, palliative care, and neonatal intensive care. Through cooperation between professional organisations and regulators in India and the UK, skill gaps and training will also be closed.

To guarantee a smooth transition into employment with the NHS, the two parties will also create a plan of action to identify initial batches of applicants in India and employers in the UK.

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