New Delhi: The number of student visa applications for the United States has registered a 60 per cent increase this year with a whopping 90,000 applicants, of whom only about 4,000 could make the cut.
According to an official statement, around 4,000 students managed to get student visa which saw over 90,000 applicants, a number which doubled at the US embassy and consulates, especially in Mumbai and Hyderabad, over the last 12 months.
"The US Embassy in Delhi, and Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, opened their doors on Thursday to over 4,000 Indian students who applied for visas to pursue education in the United States," it said.
The students will join a growing league of their counterparts in the US, which stands at nearly 103,000 at present, making them the second largest group of foreign students in the country after China. "Student visa applications across India increased 60 percent last year. Consular officers approve the vast majority of student visa applications. 78 per cent of Indian students opt to study Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields," the US Embassy said.
According to the embassy, in terms of popularity of study disciplines among the applicants, engineering tops the chart, followed by computer science. "Last year Indian students in the United States contributed USD 3.3 billion to the US economy," it said.
Congratulating the successful applicants, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said, "Indian students are a great asset to United States universities and colleges. Both countries benefit greatly when our students study and learn together."
On the occasion, celebrated as Student Visa Day, the embassy and the consulates treated the applicants to an informative morning in a festive, collegiate atmosphere, with the consulates playing music ranging from college songs to pop music.
"It has been an honour to meet India's future leaders on Thursday at Student Visa Day. I am continually impressed by the calibre of Indian students that I meet, and amazed by what they contribute to both India and the world," Ambassador Verma remarked after talking with the applicants.