In order to increase mutual understanding and expand people-to-people connections between the United States and India, the U.S. State Department is re-launching its Passport to India initiative through a partnership between The Ohio State University and IndoGenius.
The U.S. –Indian relationship will be a defining partnership of the 21st century, in the words of President Obama. In order to fully realize the potential of this relationship, more young American need to look to India for education and employment opportunities, just as young Indians have done in the United States for decades.
The Passport to India initiative seeks to dramatically increase the number of young Americans annually learning in India on study abroad and internship programs through a sustainable philanthropic foundation.
The program was launched by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011 to create a hub for U.S.-India higher education partnerships and to develop a stronger bond between the youth of both countries by increasing American student mobility.
While relying on philanthropic support, this effort complements successful existing study abroad and language study efforts by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Defense. It is a sister program to 100 Thousand Strong to China and 100 Thousand Strong in the Americas, which encourage study abroad to China and Latin America, respectively.
The aims of this program are perfectly complemented by one of India’s own. As a priority of the new government, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and University Grants Commission (UGC) are launching the Connect to India Programme to enable foreign students to undertake short term courses in India designed to increase understanding of contemporary India and forge closer ties between nations.