Washington: COVID-19 has created enormous anxiety and uncertainty but the US administration wants that Indian students come to the country for study, a senior American diplomat told a Washington DC-based think tank on Wednesday.
Alice Wells, the outgoing Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, however, said presently visas are not being processed due to the pandemic.
“So this is going to be an issue that I think we have to muddle our way through,” she told the former US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, during a virtual discussion held by the Atlantic Council.
Over 200,000 Indian students study in various American universities and they constitute the second largest group of foreign students in the US after China.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, almost all educational institutions are shut during the spring break, which has now been extended for the rest of the academic year till August.
“COVID-19 has created enormous anxiety and uncertainty for both American and foreign students alike, We need to ensure that as conditions allow, we do everything possible to keep that upward trajectory of Indian students in the United States, which last year topped over 200,000,” Wells said, adding that they needed to do everything possible in the present circumstances. ”
“We’re going to, have to, approach this with an open mind,” she said, adding that the students act as ambassadors between the countries and their goal is to have Indian students in the US.
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