The new initiatives in higher education between United States and India will help identify multiple paths together to educational excellence over the next decade, said Jennifer McIntyre, U.S. Consul General, Chennai.

After handing over ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) certificate to VIT University, Vellore, for its Computer Science and Electronics and Communications Engineering at a function here on Wednesday, Ms. McIntyre said promoting research and scholarship in education was the hallmark of US – India partnership.

The two governments have been partnering each other for more than 60 years in the Fulbright program administered by USIEF and since 2008, through the Fulbright-Nehru scholarships which provide the participants the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Today, India has the largest Fulbright scholar exchange programme of any of the US partner countries in the world with more than 17,000 fellowships and other grants awarded to Indians and Americans since it began. USIEF office also oversaw the new Obama – Singh initiative, a $10 million dollar program co-funded equally by both governments, was targeted at innovative ideas at the institutional In his speech, G. Viswanathan, chancellor, VIT University, said the university had already obtained ABET accreditation for Civil and Mechanical Engineering disciplines in 2009. The division of universities should be based on quality and accreditation and not on Centre, State or private universities, he said calling for opening up more universities as access to higher education was still below 15 per cent in the country.