The Consulate General of India in New York had organised a ‘Meet & Greet’ event in association with GOPIO-Manhattan, a chapter of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) for new Indian students joining universities in the US.
Mentors from across industries interacted with students and shared valuable insights and experiences.
In the video address to the students on Saturday, Sandhu said that he sees India’s dynamism, India’s energy and India’s ability to innovate and create in the students who have come to America to pursue higher education in various fields.
“The education and knowledge partnership is an area that holds great potential in our bilateral relations,” Sandhu said.
“You are aware that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has initiated a New Education Policy (NEP), which came out last year, after a gap of almost 34 years. It opens up wide opportunities to further deepen academic, scientific and research collaboration with countries such as the United States. Our focus will remain, to identify and promote synergies,” he said.
In his address to the nation on the Independence Day last month, Modi had said that the New Education Policy is a means to fight poverty and to meet the needs of the 21st century.
The NEP approved by the Union Cabinet last year at a meeting presided over by Modi replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower.
Describing the students as a “strong bridge” between the world’s largest democracy and world’s oldest democracy, Sandhu said: “you will shape the future of the ties, between our two great nations. In that sense, you are in a unique position to benefit from it too.”
Sandhu noted that the last 20 months have not been easy for “any of us” as the COVID-19 pandemic “completely changed our lives”.
“Despite the odds, you have been able to reach for your dreams. We are committed as ever to the welfare of Indian students in the United States,” he said, adding that last year, “we worked together with the community to help our students – from Vande Bharat Mission to providing sustenance and support.”
Sandhu reassured the students that the Indian Embassy and Consulates in the United States attach highest priority to the welfare of the student community.
As India has entered the 75th year of independence, he said that the Embassy and Consulates plan to arrange various interactions for Indian students, successful professionals and role-models from across the society.
“Your journey has just begun in the US. I am confident that you will move forward from ‘good’ to ‘great’. Indian students enjoy a high reputation in the United States,” Sandhu said.
He said that in his interactions with over a hundred Chancellors/Presidents of various Universities in the US and nearly 40 Governors over the last year and a half, “all of them told me about the talented spirit and industrious nature of Indian students. They are all excited to have more and more Indian students here. Your predecessors have worked hard to create this image. You have to ensure to make it even better.”
According to the latest official figures by Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP), part of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), there were 207,460 students from India in the US, the second highest after China (382,561).
The report said that the number of students from China and India made Asia the most popular continent of origin.