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SRM University’s ‘Semester Abroad Programme’ launched

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Chit chat: U.S. Consul-General David T. Hopper interacting with students at the launch of the Semester Abroad Programme in SRM University, Kattankulathur, on Friday.
Chit chat: U.S. Consul-General David T. Hopper interacting with students at the launch of the Semester Abroad Programme in SRM University, Kattankulathur, on Friday.

Special Correspondent

Top rankers to spend a semester in prestigious institutions in U.S., U.K., or France

TAMBARAM: While describing India and the United States of America as natural partners, the U.S. Consul-General in Chennai, David T. Hopper, said that the countries needed more partners to combat the negative forces in the world.

“Respect and support for democratic institutions, the war on terrorism, the globalisation of supply and demand, communications revolution and other trends have pushed us towards one another,” he said, after launching the Semester Abroad Programme at SRM University, Kattankulathur, on Friday.

The two countries were also brought together by dark forces unleashed by globalisation, climate change, energy security, international crime and drugs, trafficking in persons, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

“Both India and the U.S. need partners to combat these negative trends, as both countries are natural partners [when it comes] to each of these issues,” Mr. David Hopper said. Education also played a huge role in the relationship between India and the U.S.

Indians comprised the biggest chunk of foreign students in the U.S. From 37,000 in 1999 their number had risen to 83,833 now, Mr. David Hopper said. At present, there are 2,115 American students pursuing education in India, a number too small considering that more than 2.2 lakh of their students studied abroad each year.

Many top notch American companies were already well established in India and much of the activity was in Tamil Nadu or elsewhere in South India.

Speaking on the occasion, SRM University Vice-Chancellor P. Sathyanarayanan said top ranking students would be spending a semester in prestigious institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Melon in the U.S. besides those in the U.K. and France.

The university would be spending close to Rs. 50 lakh for each batch of 50 students who would go abroad each semester. As many as 100 students would be sent this year, and they planned to extend it to about 300 in the years to come, Mr. Sathyanarayanan added.

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