U.S. Ambassador Launches Passport to India MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

Course to encourage young Americans to study and intern in India

U.S. Ambassador Richard R. Verma opened enrollment for a new MOOC (massive open online course) funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Passport to India Initiative.

The six-week course, entitled “The Importance of India,” will be delivered via the world’s largest online course platform Coursera, to garner wider interest among young Americans for study abroad, internship, and business opportunities in India. The course covers a broad range of topics, from India’s ancient trade relations with the Roman Empire, South East Asia, and China to India’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem and its role in creatively solving global problems through technology. The course’s final week is dedicated to presenting study, internship, and business startup opportunities in India along with references and advice for those wishing to come to India.

“Last year there were 130,000 Indian students in the United States – a record number reflecting record growth.  However, at the same time the number of American students in India remained relatively flat – 4,500.  The United States Government’s Passport to India initiative is designed to encourage more American students to consider studying in India”, said Ambassador Verma. “I am especially excited that this free online course will be delivered virtually and thus reach the maximum number of potential students.”

The course is expected to make a significant contribution toward meeting the Passport to India Initiative’s goal of increasing the number of American college and university students studying in India from approximately 4,500 to at least 10,000 per year by 2020. Passport to India was launched by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011 to create a hub for U.S.-India higher education partnerships and to develop stronger bonds between the youth of both countries through increased American student mobility. The initiative is being implemented jointly by The Ohio State University in the U.S. and IndoGenius in India, both of whom worked to produce and deliver the Coursera MOOC.

“India is relevant to American students of all backgrounds and interests,” said Nick Booker, Executive Director (India) of Passport to India. “Our MOOC will demonstrate how India’s economic and civilizational re-emergence has renewed the importance of India. Take any of the grand challenges faced by the world today and if you can innovate a solution that works in India it can work anywhere.”

Indian students are actively encouraged to join and learn alongside their American peers. The course is free for anyone in the world and currently open for enrollment here. Those interested in learning more about Passport to India and its directory of 60+ study abroad and internship opportunities in India can do so here. Passport to India can also be found on Facebook andTwitter.