THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: United States and India are not looking at a single model to increase educational exchanges but multiple ways; through government, business, university and people-to-people linkages, said Jennifer McIntyre, US Consul General to India, here on Friday.
Delivering the inaugural address in a `Building Partnerships Workshop’, she said that the Fulbright programme was noted for making educational connections at the people-to-people level for over 60 years.
The workshop was sponsored by the public affairs section of the US Embassy in India and noted by United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF).
Promoting research and scholarship has been a hallmark of the US-India partnership under Fulbright, providing scholars the opportunity to collaborate and share their ideas with new communities, Jennifer McIntyre said. Since 2008, Fulbright has expanded in greater partnership with the Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships.
India has become the largest Fulbright scholar exchange programmes worldwide, with more than 17,000 fellowships and other grants awarded to Indians and Americans since it began in 1950.
The Fulbright programme is a major educational partnership, but not the only one, she said. USIEF also serves as a link between Indian students and US educational institutions.
Every year, USIEF supports several education fairs in south India featuring a range of US universities and they provide expert counseling and advice to students wishing to pursue higher education in the US. India is the second largest country of origin for international students with more than one lakh Indians currently pursuing higher education in the US.
She said that she visited several Indian Universities in the South and found that many have taken the leap into internationalisation by partnering with foreign universities in areas of research, and faculty and student exchanges.
"In these visits, I’ve been delighted to find American students experiencing Indian education and the way of life as a result of such partnerships,’’ she said.
The new Obama-Dr Manmohan Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI), which is administered jointly by the USIEF and the University Grants Commission (UGC), is making rapid strides, she noted.
T P Sreenivasan, vice-chairman, Kerala State Higher Education Council and former Indian Ambassador to the US, gave a special address.