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Merkel talks training and technology in India's Bangalore

Chancellor Angela Merkel has visited a branch of the German company Bosch in India's technology hub of Bangalore. India expressed interest in a form of training exemplified by the firm.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday visited a center of the German engineering and technology company Bosch as she encourages India to follow her country's lead by introducing a so-called dual education system, which is already practiced by the firm.

A dual education system allows trainees to undertake an apprenticeship in a company while doing vocational education at a tertiary institution.

The system is not very widespread in India so far, partly because of a social structure still based on castes, where great divisions exist between university-educated people and manual workers.

Bosch employs some 29,000 people in 14 plants across India, and says its training center has been given 50 awards by the government.

Business focus

The visit to Bangalore comes on the last day of

a three-day trip to India

by Merkel, who has been accompanied by a 20-person business delegation that includes the chairpeople from companies such as Siemens, BASF, Airbus and Deutsche Bank.

During the visit, Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have signed a number of memorandums of understanding in a variety of fields.

These include agreements to introduce fast-track measures to facilitate investment in the country by German companies, and to cooperate on solar energy projects.

India has also pledged to increase the amount of German taught at Indian schools, after the language was dropped from the curriculum when Modi took power a year and a half ago. Germany in its turn promised to promote modern Indian languages.

Before flying back to Germany, Merkel was to give a speech on business topics to representatives from German and Indian companies.

tj/msh (dpa, AFP)

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