Kochi: Ninety-nine US Fulbright scholars conducting research and teaching at academic institutions across India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan converged in Kochi for the 2020 Fulbright South and Central Asia Annual Conference from February 24 to 26.
The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) hosted the conference, which offered Fulbright scholars an opportunity to share their research experiences and explore opportunities to enhance current and future educational exchanges.
In India, the Fulbright-Nehru fellowships are jointly funded by the Governments of India and the United States. During this academic year, there are 190 US Fulbright-Nehru scholars and US Fulbright scholars conducting research or teaching in India. Among them three are in Kerala, 23 in Tamil Nadu, 19 in Karnataka, and three in Puducherry.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the prestigious Fulbright exchange program in India, which has thus far awarded scholarships to over 20,000 Indians and Americans.
Inaugurating the conference, US Consul General in Chennai Robert Burgess said, “This is the second consecutive year to hold this conference in Kochi, and I can’t think of a better setting for this diverse gathering of scholars from across the United States to engage in thought-provoking discussions and get a cultural taste of South India. I’ve had the opportunity to personally meet dozens of Fulbright scholars – American and Indian – and have been impressed not only by their academic work, but also the impact of these scholars on their surrounding environments.”
US diplomats and leaders from several national Fulbright Commissions participated in the annual conference.
USIEF Executive Director Adam Grotsky said, “This year, we are proud to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright program in India. Fulbright is active in 160 countries with a robust presence of US scholars in the South and Central Asian region. These scholars represent the richness and diversity of the program with students and senior scholars exploring a wide range of disciplines from renewable energy to performing arts.”
Established in 1946 in the United States, the Fulbright Program is the US government’s flagship international educational exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
From 1950 to 2020, the USIEF has administered more than 20,000 fellowships, including over 11,000 Fulbright Fellowships funded by the US Department of State, of which 2798 are Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships that have been co-funded by the Government of India.
USIEF also provides information to Indian students on higher education opportunities in the United States under the Education USA Program, supported by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Indian scholars can apply now. More information is available online at http://www.usief.org.in or in person at USIEF offices in New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, or Mumbai.