New Delhi, Oct 30: India and the United States have a huge potential in education, but the regulatory environment here is "pretty tough" and needs to open up, the US Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma said today.
"Education has been a huge force in my life and I always say, especially for India, it is a great equaliser in our society.
Education is important in our bilateral relationship, between the US and India," Verma said in his closing remarks during a panel discussion 'Reimagining the Future' organised jointly by PHD Chamber and Purdue University of the US.
"But the education regulatory environment is really pretty tough (in India). We want to see more American universities here. We have to work towards that."
Speaking of the Prime Minister's commitment, Verma felt that there is a need to think little more creatively about the scale of education demand in India.
According to his assessment, India would need more than 600 universities by 2020 and the universities of the US are "very much inclined" to set up their centres here.
He added that 10 years ago, around 10,000 Indian students were studying in the US and last year, the numbers grew to as much as 1,30,000.
"It has really increased dramatically. India is the second largest contributor of international students to the US. We have so many areas of cooperation, we have been riding a bit of a wave since the US President visited here on Republic Day and Prime Minister (of India) went to Washington last September," he added.
India and the US, the US Ambassador said, never had such stronger bilateral ties in defence and security, trade and economics, climate, agriculture, space, clean energy as well as ocean exploration.
Calling for a greater synergy between the two countries, he said larger countries create a huge impact globally when they come together.
He was hopeful that the US can be a useful partner for India in education and at the level of governance.
The Purdue University is partnering with India to develop smart cities, breakthrough manufacturing, and inclusive entrepreneurship.