The chief minister of Australia's capital Canberra, Andrew Barr, met his counterpart Arvind Kejriwal here on Monday and discussed a range of issues, with the key focus being on health and education. The visiting chief minister was accompanied by a delegation comprising his ministerial colleagues and Australia's Deputy High Commissioner to India, Rodney Hilton. The meeting was held at the Delhi Secretariat.
"The two cities are capitals and have a lot in common. Canberra is a very small city by Indian standards. It is now the sixth largest Australian city and is emerging as a international leader in several areas, particularly health and education. "We have just had a very productive discussion about right policy settings to encourage basic health and education outcomes," Barr told PTI after the meeting.
He said this mission provides an opportunity for further engagement between the two national capitals to strengthen the India-Australia relationship. "Our particular areas of focus are health, education, tourism, and research and development. I think there is a lot of potential for further partnership," Barr said.
"I will be in Delhi looking to further build on those strong ties with particular stress on university engagement and partnership, and tourism promotion," he said. According to an official statement issued by the Delhi government, Kejriwal after the meeting stated, "Had a very productive meeting with the chief minister of the capital city of Australia."
"We discussed a range of issues, including health, education, infrastructure. Governments of the two capital cities decided to learn from each others experiences," the Delhi chief minister said. During the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told the visiting delegation about the Delhi Education Model and elaborated how a turnaround in the education sector was achieved during the last four and a half years.
Sisodia invited the delegation to visit Delhi government schools and Mohalla Clinics. "The deputy chief minister also told the Australian delegation that the Delhi government will be happy to share its experience of the 'Happiness Curriculum' with them," the statement stated.
The visiting delegation expressed keenness in knowing about Mohalla Clinics and how they function, it stated. Both sides decided to take forward their engagement with future meetings, according to the statement.
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