The United States is working with the Indian Government to stream line the latter's education visa, which is being considered as a major hindrance for American students wanting to go to the country for education, a top Obama Administration official has said.
Currently, while more than 100,000 Indian students come to the US for study every year, the number of American students who studied in India in 2011-2012 was a mere 4,300 and far less than those going to China for studies.
Even as more American students would like to go to India for studies, not many are able to travel because of the difficulties they face in getting the education visa.
"We recognise that there are indeed challenges and hindrances which have prevented more American students from choosing India as a destination," the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told students at the Boston University yesterday.
"We are working with the Indian government to streamline education visa processes, which have been repeatedly identified as a key reason for why so few American students go to India," Blake said in his remarks.
"And through a grant from our Embassy in New Delhi, the US-India Educational Foundation is working with Indian institutions of higher education to encourage more US students to study there, including by developing better housing and support offices for foreign students," he said.
The Obama Administration has launched 'Passport to India' initiative to send more and more American students to India for studies.
The United States is also working with businesses and foundations to increase opportunities for more Americans to experience India during their college or university years through study abroad, internships, and service learning opportunities.
This complements other State Department-sponsored programs for study abroad, including Fulbright, Gilman, and Critical Language Scholarships.
Passport to India now has 10 partnerships with companies as diverse as Honeywell, United Airlines, Citigroup, which have created hundreds of new opportunities for American students in India.