Why Singapore matters for India

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to New Delhi this week is a major step forward to boosting bilateral ties between the two south Asian nations.
India’s much-touted ‘Look East’ policy will get a leg-up following Mr Loong’s two-day trip to India. Under a new deal, the city-state will help Delhi state government set up a training centre modeled after the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). It would be the first project under a new pact signed on July 11 that will pave the way for more cooperation in vocational education.
Singapore said the nation was honoured that India has shown confidence in ITE’s system of technical education. ITE’s overseas arm, ITE Education Services will work with the Department of Technical Training and Education (DTTE) of the Delhi state government to set up the training centre in Jonapur, South Delhi. Under the deal, Singapore will provide expertise in teacher training, curriculum development and advice on setting up of the campus.
When completed, the centre is expected to train up to 15,000 students a year in the fields of production and manufacturing, electronics, retail merchandising, finance, hospitality, health and tourism.
I was reading an insightful article by Tarun Das in Straits Times dated July 9. Mr Das headed the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in India for a long time and in 2009 stepped down as its chief mentor. He has pointed out 10 reasons why India should take Singapore seriously.
He also said there was no “better time to understand this than now in the current Indian environment damaged by scams, tax policies, declining values, continuing poverty and societal discord”.
Mr Das said: “The future looks positive for bilateral trade, and needs special priority because the potential is huge.”
India always shares a special relationship with Singapore as it is the bridge to East Asia. India’s first Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement was with Singapore and it was a huge success.
The city-state may have just five million people, but India’s 1.2 billion people should learn a lot from this tiny nation.

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