Coimbatore: Early India-US linkages have
blossomed into a vigorous two-way exchange of entrepreneurs,
executives, students, professors, scientists and students to
enormously benefit both countries and serve as a model for
other nations around the world, a top US diplomat said on Wednesday.
Jennifer Mcintyre, US Consul General, Chennai, said the
Indian diaspora, one of the most influential and vibrant
communities in US, has played a valuable role as a bridge
between the two countries. "And in doing so, they have helped
accelerate transformation of US-India relations," she said.
Speaking at the inaugural of `2012 Experience America,` a
three-day event showcasing films, food, education, trivia
contest, music and dance, she said more than half a million
Indians travel to US and more than eight lakh Americans come
to India each year.
She said the programs here have special focus on higher
education and that US was working very closely with some
well known institutions,including Bharatiar University,Amritha
University and Avinashilingam University, which have over the
years developed significant partnership with US varsities.
"Today India has the largest Fulbright scholar exchange
program of any of our partner countries in the world,with more
than 17,000 fellowships and other grants awarded to Indians
and Americans since it began, she said.
Jennifer said the 10 million US Dollar Obama-Singh
Initiative--co funded by both governments --is expected to
promote reliable, long-term communication between partner
educational institutions.The first set of proposals under this
initiative is now in the final selection process with awards
expected later this spring, she said.
She said US Under secretary of commerce for International
Trade Fransisco Sanchez has brought the department`s first
ever ports and maritime technology industry trade mission to
Chennai last week. US commerce Secretary John Byson is also
expected to lead an upcoming, high level trade mission to
Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai in Mar 25-30, Jennifer said.
Bilateral trade between both nations in 2011 is nearly 58
million USD,up from 49 million USD in 2010, she said.