India country brief - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Since the end of the Cold War, the India-Australia relationship has the two countries and the United States and Japan); the uranium issue. A new report by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia, India and the United States: the challenge of forging. A new government report outlines a strategy for the Australia-India relationship, and reminds is that India is not China, and must be considered.
But there is potential for much more.
Why India is emerging as Australia's natural ally
This is especially true of vocational training, in which only seven million Indian people are currently enrolled, compared to an estimated ninety million in China. Tertiary education of all kinds is jealously regulated in India, and foreign participation can be viewed with suspicion. But vocational education also suffers from strong prejudices.
Being a mechanic, an electrician or even a hands-on engineer is not something to aspire to, even if the salary might be good. India is looking for institutions that can navigate the regulatory jungle, deal with large numbers, make a profit — and, perhaps hardest, make vocational education attractive.
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Online programs may satisfy some of these requirements. The potential market is huge. At the white-collar, clean-hands end of education, the Varghese report points out that although Australia has successfully attracted fee-paying students, it still lacks the prestige of universities in the United States and Britain. Victoria, for instance, has offices in Bengaluru and Mumbai. The two other states are dark horses — West Bengal and its once great capital Kolkata, and the vast northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The inclusion of the latter draws attention to two aspects of the Varghese report that echo its predecessors: Uttar Pradesh is an immense potential market that will require plenty of both. Its population is million; female literacy was 59 per cent in ; and in the infant mortality rate was the worst in India, at sixty-four deaths per thousand births.
Education and health services beg for attention. Hindi, its common language, has million speakers across India but is taught at only two Australian universities — the Australian National University in Canberra and La Trobe University in Melbourne. None is a small-time player. So what, as they say on television, could possibly go wrong?
Australian commercial propositions that offer little in these areas are likely to find muted enthusiasm among Indian businesspeople, politicians and policy-makers.
It may be right, but India may not respond enthusiastically to this approach.
India has always seen trade and foreign policy as separate. To assume that commerce and foreign policy go hand in hand might be to invite disappointment. Second, Australia needs to build more knowledge of India and support organisations that work on the bilateral relationship.
Australia, India and the United States: The challenge of forging new alignments in the Indo-Pacific
While Australia made a pivot towards China in the last quarter of the 20th century, businesses, governments, and the public developed comparatively little knowledge about India. The emphasis on China led to a neglect of India in education, media, and the policy sphere. There is a need to rebuild public understanding of India and the institutions that can activate this understanding to achieve lasting impact.
Culture and arts will be very important here, both as a sector and enabler - points implicit in the strategy. Varghese says we need to move beyond constantly drawing comparisons between India and China. India is a distinct opportunity for engagement that merits discussion in its own terms. The base from which Australia is working with respect to cooperation is certainly different: Australian exports to India are less than a sixth of those to China.
The first concerns the relationship between growth and wellbeing. It is clear that the India Economic Strategy imagines enhanced cooperation not as a basis for economic growth as such, but also higher standards of living. There is a need to reflect carefully here. We must think not only about spurring growth in the Australian and Indian economies, but also ensuring that growth is meaningful in four ways: This is where the comparison between India and China is important.
This partly reflects the depth of social inequalities in India.