Rutgers University

Executive Summary

Capitalizing on the Demographic Dividend: Enhancing Talent Development Capacity for India and the US in the 21st Century

The recent landmark US-India Higher Education (HE) Summit identified a set of key priorities for each country. For India, the most pressing need is to reform its skill development system with scalable solutions that can rapidly enhance educational opportunities for 550 million Indians 25-and-under. For the US, the goals are to expand the small number of American students and faculty with experience in India -- the world’s largest democracy and one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing economies -- and to help meet India’s educational needs by expanding programs for the world’s largest pool of high potential, English-speaking students. Both nations are struggling to create enough good jobs for their growing number of graduates.

Rutgers has come together with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Penn State University (PSU) and other HE, industry and government partners to create a new joint India Center for Sustainable Growth and Talent Development. The new Center is designed explicitly to advance key priorities identified at the Summit and in India’s National Skill Development Strategy. Through mutually beneficial cooperation and academic exchange, we propose to:

  • Create an Indian HE Policy Forum that fosters applied joint research on the Indian education and training system and translates this directly into practice by bringing together top US and Indian experts in the field, HE leaders and policymakers to discuss and act on the lessons from this research.
  • Develop programs that draw on this research to enhance the capacity of India’s HE institutions, their faculty and current and future academic leaders to meet India’s pressing skills challenges. This will include a new India HE Leadership Academy and development of new programs to enhance joint technology commercialization capabilities of Indian universities to turn new innovations into sustainable employment opportunities for graduates in both countries.
  • Launch new educational programs to increase high quality study abroad, service learning and dual degree opportunities for US and Indian students, including design and implementation of an innovative new National Vocational University (NVU) that can scale to meet India’s major skill needs.