The United States Consulate General in Chennai will place strong focus on education, especially on bringing more US students to India for study and internship under a new initiative, the new Consul-General, Jennifer McIntyre, said here on Wednesday.
In her first interaction with the media after taking over the assignment, she said, "I am very happy to note that over 100,000 Indian students are studying in the US; we want to see more." At the same time, she added: "We want more US students to be studying in India as well."
Following the recent visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the US was launching a ‘passport to India' initiative. "We will partner with businesses to bring more US students to India for internships lasting a few weeks to several months".
India recorded an increase of 22 per cent in applications for visas last year and as many as 600,000 visa applications (including education, business and tourist visas) were adjudicated in 2010.Tenpercent of all U.S. non-immigrant visa applications came from India.
More than 103,000 Indian students were studying in U.S. universities - more than any other country except China. U.S. Consulate-General, Chennai, issued 142, 565non-immigrant visas in 2010 - the most among Mission India's five consular sections.
When asked about Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's request to Ms. Clinton, who visited Chennai recently, for increasing the number of H1-B visas, Ms. Mclyntre said India getting 65 per cent of the total number of H1-B visas issued by the US spoke for itself. "It (the number of visa applications) is still increasing. We will continue to see growing ties (between the two countries) irrespective of the state of the economies".