In a joint statement issued Monday after the fourth 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between India and the United States, ministers from the two countries also hailed the vibrant educational ties between India and the United States.
“The Ministers announced their intention to establish a new India-US Task Force on Education and Skills Development. The Ministers also appreciated the contribution of the Fulbright-Nehru Program in promoting the exchange of outstanding scholars and professionals between the two countries and the special role that the four million members of the Indo-American Diaspora play in deepening Indo-American relations,” said the joint statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. External Affairs in New Delhi.
American Indians are the second largest group of immigrants to the United States. The fourth 2+2, the first under the Biden administration, was held in Washington on Monday. The Indian side was led by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin welcomed Singh and Jaishankar to Washington for the dialogue. The Dialogue was preceded by a virtual meeting between the Prime Minister
“Welcoming the vibrant educational ties between India and the United States, the Ministers reiterated their support to further strengthen cooperation in education and skills development through joint collaborations and promote student mobility. and scholars in order to create interpersonal links between the two. country,” the statement read.
After the ministerial meeting in Washington on Monday, Jaishankar said “the foundation of our relationship, as you will all agree, is its human element.”
“It could be the students who come to universities, the flow of talent that defines our knowledge partnership, or the technology and business relationships that foster innovation. These are all examples of the human bridge that connects our societies in such a way unique.”
The number of Indian students in the United States increased by more than 12% in 2021. Compared to 2020, India sent more students (+25,391), according to a government report. No less than 37% of Indian students are women.
Secretary Blinken told reporters that the two countries are strengthening people-to-people ties, which are really at the heart of the whole relationship.
“We are very fortunate in the United States to be home to some 4 million American Indians as well as 200,000 Indians studying at our universities. We have an Education and Professional Training Task Force that we formed today that will increase that number by bringing together institutions in the United States and India to develop new joint research and exchange programs.” .
“We look forward to welcoming more Indian students and scholars to our communities. We focus, among other things, on STEM education. I think this is an area that has huge potential for the future,” he said.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The ministers also hoped that the resumption of air travel would encourage tourism and business travel between the two countries.
“Welcoming the resumption of regular air travel between the two countries and expressing the hope that this will encourage tourism and business travel, the ministers acknowledged that the movement of skilled professionals, students, entrepreneurs, investors and business travelers between our countries plays an important role. to catalyze innovation and economic opportunity,” the statement read.
India has welcomed the waiver, until 31 December 2022, of in-person visa interviews for applicants who had previously been granted any type of visa and are now applying for certain classifications of non-immigrant visas, which include those for people in specialized positions, university and professional students. , and intra-company assignees, he said.
Ministers underlined the importance of continued engagement on visa issues, welcomed the December 2021 meeting of the bilateral consular dialogue and resolved to pursue efforts to facilitate the reciprocal movement of professionals, business, skilled workers, experts and scientific personnel. .
In February, the United States waived in-person interview requirements for many visa applicants, including students and workers, at its diplomatic missions in India until December 31 this year.
India and the United States are eager to start a dialogue on contemporary women’s issues in the context of people-to-people ties, the statement added.
Recognizing the importance of the protection of cultural heritage, the ministers pledged to work towards the negotiation of a memorandum of understanding which will deepen cooperation in this field and help the authorities to combat the trade in cultural objects and to facilitate their repatriation.