Higher education web portal would facilitate more Americans to study here

US Consul General Jennifer Mcintyre has expressed the hope that India’s launch of the higher education web portal and its new ‘Connect to India’ programme would facilitate more Americans to study in Indian universities.

Addressing the Founders’ Day celebrations at the Mohamed Sathak Engineering College at Kilakarai, near here on Wednesday, she said the US was supporting India’s launch of a higher education web portal to disseminate information about educational collaboration and exchanges.

She also said that the US was helping India realise a goal of establishing 100 community colleges in the country.

"These are exciting new initiatives that are going to bring our countries even closer as we seek to tackle together global challenges of the 21st century. But the absolute core of our countries’ strong ties today, is-and has always been-our people to people links," she said.

Pointing out that many of these ties have started at students’ level, Ms Mcintyre said she was pleased to note that more than one lakh Indians currently study in the US and there was an increase in the number of American students coming to India for studies.

"As Consul General, my team and I would love to see even more of these exchanges.

And so would our US Universities, who realise the extraordinary value of the different perspectives and insights provided by their foreign students," she said.

She said under the ‘Obama-Singh 21st century knowledge Initiative’ (OSI), the two governments have pledged 5 million US dollars each to support linkages between US and Indian institutions in areas of energy, sustainable and community development, environment, education, public health and innovation.

Last year eight grants were awarded under OSI and three of the awards went to institutions in south India, including Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, she said and hoped that Mohamed Sathak Engineering College and other eminent Tamil Nadu educational institutions also consider applying for an OSI grant with a US partner when the call for proposals reopens this upcoming year.

Ms Mcintyre said students and faculty members interested in studying in the US could get in touch with the US-India Education Foundation (USIEF), which sponsors and supports several university fairs. Details could be obtained from www.EducationUSA@state.gov, she added.

Speaking on the occasion, M. Ramasubramani, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Ramnad Range) said college life could be the most enjoyable period in a students’ lives as it is then that they their responsibility to the society, their parents and the nation.

"This is the place, where you could build your patriotism and career", he said and exhorted the students to achieve their aims through hard work and perseverance, while respecting moral values.

Collector K. Nanthakumar, stressing the value and importance of education, said educating a person was much better than feeding thousands of poor and creating religious structures, citing a Tamil saying.

He commended the founders of the college for providing quality education to the poor students, who otherwise would be deprived of higher education.

All students, irrespective of their discipline should become computer literates, he suggested.

S. M. Hamid Abdul Quadir, Chairman, Mohamed Sathak Trust (MST), Ms S. M. H. Sharmila, MST, S. M. Mohamed Yousuf, Secretary MST, honoured the guests.