Lucknow: Noting that Indians account for the second largest group of foreign students in his country, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Thursday said educational exchange programmes help deepen bilateral ties which will in turn have lasting effect on global peace, prosperity and security.
"I often speak about how the rise of India and the deepening relationship between our countries will have a lasting effect on global peace, prosperity and security," Verma told students at Isabella Thoburn College here.
"At the heart of our relationship is the creative and economic potential of our people, and one of the keys to unlocking this potential is in education for women and girls," he said.
The US Ambassador said he was constantly impressed and inspired by the talent and energy he saw in India's youths.
"In the words of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi 'girls contribute to India's fame and glory. Let's recognise it. Let's take them along, shoulder to shoulder.
"When women are educated and empowered, they bring the rest of society with them," he said, adding IT College was a leader in this regard.
"Indians account for the second-largest group of foreign students in the US, with over 1,02,000 students studying in America in 2013-14. At the same time, a growing number of Americans are choosing to study in India, with over 4,000 students annually making journey to India," he said.
He said these students come to India to learn about innovation and technology, history and culture.
"These are lessons they take back with them to the US thereby enriching our educational communities," he said.
The Ambassador said educational exchange programmes like Fulbright-Nehru help people from both sides learn from and about each other, building the long-lasting cultural bridges that transcend geographic divides.
"Whether it be through the thousands who have participated in exchanges or the growing and active Indian-American community, it is our people who are at the heart of our strategic relationship. The Indian diaspora in the United States stands at over three million and growing, and includes leaders in the fields of science, education, the arts, and government," he said, while referring to naming of Sundar Pichai as Google CEO.
"In closing, let me echo the words of PM Modi, who said it is too limiting to ask what the US and India can do for each other ? the real test is seeing what we can do for the world. The truth is we are stronger together, and this is particularly true when we promote educational opportunities that bridge geographic and gender divides," he said.