US helping India to establish community colleges

The United States is working with India to flesh out an initiative to set up hundreds of community colleges in India on the American pattern, according to state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

"Well, obviously, we support this initiative," she told reporters Tuesday when asked about the visit of education ministers from several Indian states to explore the possibility of opening such publicly funded two-year institutions that primarily attract students from the local community.

The state department, Nulanad said, has "been working with the Indian side to flesh out the initiative" that was agreed between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, through its education bureau.

Asked if the Indian degrees are accepted in the United States, she said that was on a case-by-case issue depending upon where they graduate from and where they're looking to get accredited from.

"So obviously, if there's a sister university relationship, sometimes those accreditations can be recognized, but it just depends on what they want to do," Nuland said. "I don't think there's a blanket way of looking at that."

The United States had also not changed its policy for the issue of student visas after the closure of a couple of sham universities affected hundreds Indian students, but the US institutions get greater scrutiny, she said.

"I think what we are doing is making sure that the sponsoring organizations truly are what they say they are in the United States; that if they say that they are bringing students over to educate them, that they intend to educate them, not put them to work, et cetera."

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