India to open doors with Foreign Education Providers Bill: Krishna

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New Delhi, Feb.2 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Tuesday said India is all set to open up its doors to foreign educational institutions through the enactment of a Foreign Education Providers Bill.

Speaking on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright programme in India, Krishna said: "Nearly a hundred thousand Indian students enroll in the USA annually. India is poised to open up her doors to foreign educational institutions through the enactment of a Foreign Education Providers Bill. We are keen to establish partnerships with premier universities in USA to address challenges such as water, energy, healthcare, urban infrastructure, and environment." rishna also apprised the audience that last year Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal led a delegation to USA to discuss some of these initiatives.

With India becoming a full partner in the selection and award of scholarships, the scholarships are now called the "Fulbright - Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarships and Grants, he said.

"With a financial contribution of 2.3 million dollars by India as per the revised Agreement, the total annual scholarship amount could be increased by a 100 per cent. Starting with the academic year 2009-2010, we have been awarding "Fulbright-Nehru" scholarships honouring the memory of both Senator Fulbright and Prime Minister Nehru," Krishna said.

Quoting Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Krishna said : "The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence."

"Inspired by such wisdom, the Fulbright-Nehru program will focus on areas of priority in the bilateral relationship - agriculture, environment, energy, and other fields which will have a direct impact on the lives of the people," he added.

Talking about Senator Fullbright Krishna said: "I had the privilege of meeting with Senator Fulbright when I was studying in George Washington University. Senator Fullbright was a statesman who was able to focus on crucial and critical areas of two countries."

Krishna, during his keynote address said that he was delighted to note that this unique exchange program in India is one of the largest Fulbright-programs worldwide. "I am confident that our collaborative efforts in the educational sector will lead to increased joint research and development of new relevant technology and innovation for the mutual benefit of our two societies and the benefit of the world. I congratulate the United States-India Education Foundation for completing 60 glorious years of its successful program. I wish them a redoubled success in the future."

"I am confident that the Fulbright-Nehru Program will be instrumental in augmenting people-to-people linkages between two great democracies, India and USA," the Union Minister added.

Also present on this occasion were U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer, Judith McHale, Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, Adam Grotsky, Members of the US-India Education Foundation, Alumni and awardees of Fulbright-Nehru fellowships and grants and others. (ANI)

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