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'BHU one of world's great edu centres' US Ambassador; Nancy J Powell

Source : Times of India
July 30, 2012

VARANASI: "I was a teacher before becoming a diplomat, so education is close to my heart. Now, I am in one of the world's great education centers. Your university's historic reputation as the 'Capital of Knowledge' is well-known. One of the reasons why I am here today is precisely because of education," said US ambassador to India, Nancy J Powell while addressing the students and staff of Banaras Hindu University ( BHU) during her visit to the campus on Thursday afternoon.

 

She said the two countries have a long tradition of educational partnership. "Almost every year, your university's Malaviya Centre for Peace Research conducts a faculty and student exchange with the Peace and Justice Program of one of our most distinguished colleges -Wellesley College. Each year, the United States, through the State Department's International Educational Exchange office, sends a Fulbright scholar to India under this programme," she said.

 

Powell further stated, "Your university is a major partner and was one of the first chosen for the India-US Agricultural Innovation Partnership. Under a 50 crore rupees grant from the United States Agency for International Development, you will be in partnership with the United States and Cornell University to improve the lives of India's rural population. I also commend you on your award under the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative award to study renewable energy with the University of Pittsburgh."

 

Expressing her delight on the proposed All-India American Studies Workshop in September 2012 by the Malaviya Center for Peace Research, she said, "we hope the workshop will provide an excellent platform for seasoned American Studies professionals from all over India to interact, encourage and motivate young students and researchers working on different aspects of the United States - its history, politics, economy, literature, culture and foreign policy to look at American Studies more holistically." According to her, nearly 1,04000 Indians are currently studying in the US.

 

"I am here to talk to you about our wider India-US partnership. President Obama has called the India-US relationship one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. From our shared democratic values to our strong trade and travel ties, the two nations share much in common," she said adding that travel and tourism are an important way to expand cultural and commercial ties between the two countries. "More important than the dollar figures are the people-to-people relationships that are cultivated forever," said Powell. According to her, already over one million Americans travel to India every year. In 2011, the US welcomed over 6,60000 visitors from India, a new record.

 


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