India-Japan Education Cooperation India-Japan Education Cooperation

India-Japan Education Cooperation

India-Japan Education Cooperation

Cooperation in the field of Education is an important component of India - Japan bilateral relations. The interactions between Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and noted Japanese philosopher and cultural ideologue Tenshin Okakura were the harbinger of academic exchanges between Japan and India in the modern era.

2. After concluding the Cultural Agreement in 1957, India and Japan embarked upon a path of deepening of cultural linkages, including greater academic interactions. Some of the landmark initiatives included setting up of a Centre for Japanese Studies in New Delhi, introduction of Monbusho (MEXT) scholarships to Indian students, ICCR scholarships to Japanese students, fellowship programs offered by the Japan Foundation. Collaboration between Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS), Science Council of Japan (SCJ), Indian National Science Academy (INSA), and Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) helped in exchange of scholars and conducting joint research. In addition, a number of Japanese and Indian universities/institutes signed MoUs to exchange research personnel and conduct joint research. Intense academic exchanges continued for five decades after signing the bilateral Cultural Agreement.

3. During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India in August 2007, a Dialogue of Vice-Chancellors / Presidents of leading universities on both sides were held to promote academic exchanges. 13 universities from Indian and 12 from Japanese participated in the event. Some of the participating universities signed MoUs with identified counterpart universities.

4. Prime Minister Abe, during his visit to India in December 2015, expressed his wish to see 10,000 ‘young Indian talents’ visit Japan under frameworks as students exchange, IT training and short-term exchanges during the following five years. A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of Education between Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt of India and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Govt of Japan was signed in 2015 during this visit to encourage the development of contacts and cooperation between the educational institutions of the two countries and possible support for exchange of aspiring students between the two countries.Under the MoC, the first High-Level Policy Dialogue on Education was held in Tokyo from 7-8 July 2016, led by Secretary (Higher Education), MHRD on the Indian side and the Deputy Minister, MEXT from the Japanese side. They discussed the potential of enhanced collaboration in Technical Vocation Education & Training (TVET), Higher Education, Elementary & Secondary Education, STEM Education, and Japan-India Joint Actions in Cooperation of Education.

5. Status of India-Japan Education Cooperation:

(i) Academic Partnerships

(a) As per available data, as on May 2021, there are over 300 academic and research partnerships (including student exchanges) between more than 100 universities/institutes of Japan and more than 150 universities/institutes of India. The partnerships range from liberal arts to management & business studies, legal studies, international studies, linguistics, and STEM including fast emerging frontier technologies.

(b) Apart from academic partnerships, several Indian Institutions have started “India-Japan Centre” to further enhance mutual understanding, for example, IIM Bangalore’s India-Japan Study Centre, IIM Nagpur’s Indo-Japan Research Centre, etc. Similarly, many Japanese Institutions have started research centres / lab in collaboration with their Indian counterparts or with focus on India, such as “International Joint Lab” to conduct research on modernisation of law in Asia at Osaka University, Indo-Japan Lab at Keio University, DAILAB (Department of Biotechnology, India and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan International Laboratory for Advance Biomedicine) at the Biomedical Research Institute (BRI), Tsukuba campus of AIST, etc.

(c) MEXT sponsored Inter-University Exchange Project (India) in collaboration with JSPS & 6 Japanese Universities which was started in year 2014 (02 universities added in 2017) connects Indian & Japanese universities and companies with the goal of promoting and furthering exchange activities between India and Japan.

(d) Many institutions have research centres/departments embedding studies and researches on the Indian society and culture e.g., South Asia Research Center (SARC), Soka University; The Center for South Asian Studies, Gifu Women’s University; Department of Eastern Philosophy and Culture, Toyo University; Department of Indian Studies, Nagoya University, Hajime Nakamura Eastern Institute, Tokyo. Various departments of Buddhist Studies of Japanese Universities also offer courses on Sanskrit, Pali, Indian Buddhism and Indian religions & philosophy.

(e) Some  Japanese universities viz. University of Tokyo, Ritsumeikan University, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Toyo University, have setup offices in India. Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) has its overseas representative in India too. Similarly, under MEXT sponsored project “EDU-Port”, which is a public-private initiative to promote “Japanese-style education”, 3 pilot projects in India were implemented.

(f) Hindi in Japan: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (established in 1911) and Osaka University (established in 1921, known as Osaka University of Foreign Studies before the year 2007) are the oldest Universities of Japan that introduced Hindi as an academic discipline, since inception. Other Universities/Institutions that teach Hindi at basic/higher educational levels are Takushoku University, Tokyo; Daito Bunka University, Tokyo, Musashino University, Tokyo and Institute of Asian & African Languages, Tokyo. Some Japanese scholars of Indian philosophy/Sanskrit and alumni of Indian Universities have also been indirectly contributing to the promotion of Hindi in Japan. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies has MoU with the University of Delhi and the University of Mumbai to deploy Visiting Professor of Hindi to teach Hindi there for last several years.

(g) Indian Studies in Japan: There are many universities in Japan teaching Indian Philosophy & Indian Culture as well as Hindi, Bangla and Urdu and prominent among them are Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) and School of Foreign Studies, Osaka University. The Department of Indian Studies, Nagoya University engages in an academic exchange program with the University of Pune and many students from Nagoya have studied in India. Integrated Area Studies on South Asia (INDAS-South Asia) Research Centres at Kyoto University (the central hub), the University of Tokyo, the National Museum of Ethnology, Hiroshima University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and Ryukoku University aims to foster a comprehensive understanding of the dynamism of contemporary India and South Asia.

(h) Vivekananda Culture Centre (VCC) at the Embassy of India, Tokyo conducts courses on Yoga, Ayurveda, Hindi, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Tabla and Contemporary Indian Dances for Japanese students. Every year, Embassy of India hosts a number of groups of Japanese School & University Students and briefs them about India including its diversity & culture as well as India-Japan relations.

(i) To promote the formal studies of Yoga in Japan, an MoU between Yoga Organization of Japan (YOJ) and Quality Council of India (QCI) is in force and remains valid until terminated with mutual consent.

(ii)  Students Exchanges

(a) Students exchange programmes, especially short-term, are enabling a large number of Indian students to visit and experience Japan. These programmes are either sponsored by the Government of Japan or are the result of institutional partnership.

(b) As per data released by the Ministry of Justice of Japan, as on June 2020, there are 1694 Indian students (up 67% from 1012 in December 2015) studying in Japan and out of these around 30-40% are enrolled in doctoral courses. There are around 397 Professors, Associate Professors & Assistant Professors & 171 Research Scholars. The number of Indian students, at undergraduate, post graduate as well as research level, applying for GoJ’s MEXT scholarships is increasing every year. Many Indian Students are getting benefited from various scholarships being offered in Japan by JASSO, Local Government and Local International Associations, Private Foundations, etc. Similarly, an increasing number of Japanese students are going to Indian Universities & institutions to study various courses (long-term & short-term including Hindi Language), either under ICCR, ICCR-AYUSH or other GoI’s Scholarships programme or under Sponsored / Self-financed programmes. However, this number remains below potential. Every year, few young professionals come to Japan under MEXT’s Young Leaders’ Program (YLP).

(c) JENESYS & Other Programmes: Under Government of Japan’s Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth (JENESYS), every year, Indian students’ delegations have been visiting Japan. During 2007-2011 under JENESYS, more than 2500 students from India visited Japan and few Japanese students visited India. From 2012, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan started a new programme JENESYS-KIZUNA (Bond) Project or JENESYS 2.0. Under the new programme, since 2012, more than 1000 Indian students have visited Japan and around 60 Japanese students have visited India. Under JENESYS-SAARC Programme, more than 40 Indian students have visited Japan. Under Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan's ASIA Kakehashi programme, more than 40 students from India have visited since 2018. Since 2017, under IRIS Program, a youth invitation program by the Government of Japan, which invites promising young talents from the North East Region of India, around 100 youth have visited Japan. Similarly, Indian students are coming to Japan under various programmes being run by MEXT Japan, MOFA Japan, JASSO, Japan Foundation, OISCA Japan, etc.

(d) SAKURA Science Programme: Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) has initiated a programme which invites high school students from Asian countries to visit Japanese universities and research laboratories and also interact with Nobel laureates. India was included in this programme in 2015. A large number of Indian high school students visit Japan every year under its SAKURA Science Programme. Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) implement this programme from India. More than 2200 students / undergraduates / researchers including around 850 high school students have visited Japan for exposure visit under this programme.

(iii)  Indian Schools in Japan

(a) There are 2 Indian Schools in Tokyo viz. Indian International School in Japan (IISJ) Tokyo and Global Indian International School (GIIS) Tokyo. Both schools are recognized by CBSE. These schools cater to the children of Indian Community living in Tokyo and greater Tokyo area as well as provide quality education to many Japanese students and those of other nationalities. Both schools received MEXT recognition and thus enabling the students graduating from these schools to join Japanese Universities.

(iv) Teachers’ Exchanges

(a) Since 2016, International Educational Exchange Invitation Programme for Teachers from India has been organised by the Tokyo-based Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) annually with the aim to promote mutual understanding and friendship between India and Japan. The programme is being conducted in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, Ministry of Education (erstwhile MHRD) of India and Centre for Environment Education (a “Centre of Excellence” under Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change of India). Under the programme, 12-15 Elementary & Secondary Education teachers, Non-formal Education Centre teachers, School managers or Educational administrators in India are invited to Japan for 7-8 days. They visit various Japanese schools, other education institutions and learn & share good practices including ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) and establish exchange and communication with teachers and students. Under the programme, more than 70 teachers and administrators have participated since 2016.

(b) Under MEXT’s Scholarship (Teachers Training Students) program, every year Indian teachers are coming to Japan for one and a half year research on school education at designated Japanese Universities as Teachers Training Students.

(c) Under Indian Ministry of Education (erstwhile MHRD) flagship programme “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)” was launched in 2018. It aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s Higher Educational Institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world from 28 selected nations to jointly solve social & scientific problems of national and/or international relevance. Of the approved Joint Projects, 12 were with Japanese Universities.

(d) In addition, academicians and academic level delegations from India visit Japanese Universities & Institutions and vice versa regularly.

(v). Academic Sports Exchanges

(a) India and Japan signed an MoC on Sports Cooperation between the Sports Authority of India (SAI), MoYA&S and University of Tsukuba (UoT), Japan in November, 2016. On basis of the MoC, the cooperation of UoT and Nippon Sports Science University (NSSU) and SAI and Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education (LNIPE) began which included academic program with focus on Sport Science. Further, in September 2017, an MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between LNIPE and NSSU was signed with the aim to facilitate and deepen international education cooperation and exchanges between LNIPE & NSSU; an MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between SAI and NSSU with aim to facilitate and deepen international education cooperation and exchanges between both SAI & NSSU; LETTER OF INTENT (LoI) between LNIPE and UoT Japan was signed to strengthen strategic collaboration, joint research programme and exchanges between LNIPE & UoT Japan; LoI between SAI and UoT Japan was signed to strengthen strategic collaboration, joint research programme and exchanges between SAI and UoT Japan and this LoI  was upgraded into an MoU in October 2018. There are exchanges going on between institutions under MoCs/MoUs.

(b) Under JICA Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCVs) programmes, many volunteers are being dispatched to India to take part in short-term / medium-term sports coaching.

(vi) Cooperation in Japanese Language Education in India:

(a) During PM Abe’s visit to India in September 2017, India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) for the expansion of Japanese Language Education in India. The MoC, in the 5 years after its signing:

  • aims to double the number of teachers and expand the number of students in Japanese language degree courses in universities/ institutions;
  • encourage universities/college/institutions, especially engineering colleges and management schools to establish Japanese language certificate courses by identifying around 100 institutes;
  • encourage introduction of Japanese language education in secondary schools, especially in the cities which have strong relations with Japan such as Delhi and its neighbouring area, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune.

(b) In order to achieve the objectives of the MoC, the Japanese Language Teacher Training Centre (JLTTC) has been established by the stakeholders [MEA, Ministry of Education, University Grants Commission (UGC), Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation] in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus, New Delhi and the first course started from July 23, 2018. The Centre is also providing consultations through the Japanese Language Teachers’ Training Centre to the higher educational and other institutes to establish new courses in Japanese language. Apart from this Centre, Japanese language course has also been taught in Shantiniketan, Kolkata; Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, Pune; Indian Institute of Science Bangalore; Mumbai University, Mumbai; AOTS Chennai, etc. A total of 281 Japanese language teachers have been trained under the MoC. Japan Foundation in Delhi too conducts courses in Japanese language for Indian Students.

(c) Recently, State governments in India have started short-term Japanese language course in technical institutions with the aim to impart to the students, working knowledge of the Japanese language and acquaintance with the Japanese culture. In 2019, a MoC was signed between the Department of Technical Education, Government of Haryana, India and the Japan Foundation, New Delhi for starting a short-term Japanese Language course in all Polytechnics of in State. In August 2020, Government of Punjab, India under its Punjab Skill Development Mission, along with Embassy of Japan in India, has launched Japanese language training programme for clearing basic level of Japanese language to provide more job opportunities for youth of Punjab. In addition, many private institutions and Sending Organisations (under TITP) are also providing basic Japanese language training at N4/N3 to its interns with aim to enhance their adaptation in the Japanese work culture and society as intern. Every year, students (undergraduates studying Japanese language or Japanese culture for over 1 year), selected under MEXT’s 1-year Scholarship programme, are visiting Japan at designated Japanese universities in order to deepen their understanding of the Japanese language, Japanese affairs and Japanese culture. Similarly, many Indian Universities are offering graduate, post graduate and doctoral courses in Japanese language. A good number of high school students are opting for Japanese language exam during CBSE X & XII grade board examinations. Japan Foundation in Delhi too conducts basic courses in Japanese language for Indian Students. Also, AOTS Japan through its Alumni societies in India is active in promotion of Japanese language in India.

(d) The impact of these efforts has led to an increase in the number of students appearing for Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT by Japan Foundation) in India from approximately 9000 in the year 2014 to approximately 26000 in the year 2019, indicating the increasing interest in India for learning Japanese Language. Similarly, due to increase in number of Japanese language learners, many other Japanese Language Testing exams are being conducted in India for example NAT Test by Senmon Kyouiku is being conducted in 03 cities viz. Delhi, Pune and Chennai.

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June 2021