KOLKATA: Calling for greater India-US collaboration in science and technology, American ambassador to India Nancy Powell on Friday said sustained educational exchanges were a key to developing human capital in the two countries.
"India and the US have much to do to collaborate in future in the field of science and technology. Although India's science and technology establishment has made enormous progress in the last few decades, further collaboration is needed," Powell said in her speech at the PANIIT Global Conference, 2012.
Stressing on joint ventures between Indian and US companies, she said "Indian companies have huge human capital and our products are technologically innovative."
The envoy said both the nations have focused on skill development.
"India has recognised a need for such training 'without it the huge youth dividend could go unrealized' and is planning to work with the American community college system to establish a similar system here to meet the huge, unmet demand of Indian students for higher education that will allow them to succeed in India's growing economy," she said.
Pointing out that US was "enthusiastically" supportive of India's interest in exploring the community college model, she iterated Washington's pledge to work with India in creating partnerships between the private sector, educational institutions, and the state governments.
She said India and US could share their strengths in information technology which is beginning to radically change the field of education.
Refering to China, she said it was producing one million graduates very year in science, technology, and mathematics. "While India graduates about half that number, the US fewer than half. Both the United States and India need to do a better job."
"This is why the IITs are so important, and why the US government is eager to promote cooperation between Indian and US institutions of higher education."
Talking of the need to foster global skills and international experiences in young people, she said the US warmly welcomes Indian students into its colleges and universities.
"During the 2011-2012 academic year, over 100,000 Indian students studied in the US. India is second only to China in terms of international student population at US higher education institutions," she said.
"We are actively encouraging more American students to study and explore India through a new initiative called 'Passport to India'. India and the United States both recognize that sustained educational exchanges are key, and that's why we have placed such an emphasis on the US-India Higher Education Dialogue," she added.