I attended the British Council's UK India Opportunities in English Language Forum yesterday.
My head is still spinning from the numbers, and just how huge the numbers to do with India are. The state of Bihar alone is training 67,000 English teachers. The state of Marharashtra (it includes Mumbai) pays for 14 million free school meals a day, and gives out 16 million free text books each academic year. In total, India aims to 'upskill' half a million young people in skills including English.
The English and Foreign Languages University ("Eflu") has a new vice-chancellor, Prof. Sunaina Singh
There are opportunities aplenty for UK institutions to collaborate on research projects into "Indian ELT", there will be more details out soon in EL Gazette and via its Twitter feed (@ELGazette).
The other news (to me, anyway) is that India is now on track to meet its Millennium Goal for the number of children starting school by 2015. Even though starting school is not the same as completing an education, it's amazing that any country had achieved any Millennium Goals at all.
Rajendra Darda, Minister for Schools for the state of Maharashtra. He studied journalism at the London College of Printing in the 1970s
Dr Rukmini Banerji of ASER Centre, which does the largest annual survey of English proficiency among Indian schoolchildren
Sanjiv Kaura of Times of India described the world's biggest circulation English newspaper's vast Teach India volunteer initiative to teach spoken English for employability.
UK Minister for Skills Matthew Hancock (right, arms folded,) described as "India-tastic" his visit to India and the Indian delegation's visit to the UK over the previous fortnight.