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India-U.S. bhai bhai
By Anjali Bhavan
| Category: U.S. India Relations

Just this evening, I was helping my parents in house chores while mulling over whether to go to college in India or USA. The USA offered greater course flexibility and amazing exposure; and India offered cheaper education of the same quality, while also offering the opportunity to work for my country from my country. I'm pretty sure that this confusion over foreign education has more than once crossed the minds of many a middle class high school student. Imagine this being a critical element in Indo-US ties!

 

Every year, thousands of Indians go for undergrad in USA - and even more of them go for grad school. Maybe because they find there a flexible curriculum or more exposure or the chance to get amazing work experience - but in the process, they are all cementing Indo-US ties. Students from US come too, for research in India. This education flow can cement relations like none else; our students are our most valuable and precious resource, and along with them we engage in a meaningful exchange of knowledge, cultures and experience. So yes, education is a very important part of all this - and needless to say, if India and US are looking forward to even stronger ties, they should focus on the education sector - how to make exchange meaningful and more fruitful; how to allow outflow so as to not lead to brain drain; how to develop new avenues in education for the benefit of students and the youth, which is but the very core of India.

 

Many Indians who go for further studies in the USA settle there itself. And the remittances sent by them home is one of the highest ever in the world, amounting to millions of dollars. This is a great source of revenue for India, and an opportunity for the USA to fully engage talented, intelligent individuals from India in meaningful pursuits for greater advantage. So this is another significant player in Indo-US ties - the numerous Indians practicing and living in the USA.

 

Both the USA and India boast of incredible diversity, whether it be racial or cultural; certain theorists speculate that America will become a white minority country by 2024. And this diversity is what makes both these countries throb with life and vigour - and projects them as such attractive destinations for investment. This common thread in both countries can serve as a great contender in Indo-US ties, thus firmly establishing Unity in Diversity - rather, Unity Through Diversity. . Interactions and exchanges of cultures, philosophies and lifestyles serve to make these ties only stronger – for flow of knowledge could never harm anyone!

 

Another commonality in both countries is the startup culture and the technology revolution occurring in both countries. Each day, we Indians wake up to see more and more IITians and other college students come up with amazing entrepreneurial solutions for India’s problems, while the US boasts of companies like Google and Facebook. Investing in these young, rising startups is guaranteed to give long-term benefits; concurring over these would be a wonderful way of building Indo-US ties. Not just this, there is the nuclear deal, a possible collaboration on space research projects (including one on atomic physics – the Thermonuclear Research Organization) and many, many other places where India and the USA could confer on. The list may go on, but we are certainly staring at a positive future for Indo-US ties in the next five years.