There is a drop in the number of Indian students joining the U.S. universities in the last 3 years. This drop has happened for the second consecutive year, according to the annual Open Doors Report released by the Institute of International Education in the U.S. In 2011-12, there were 1 lakh Indians at American universities, down from 1.03 lakhs in the previous year and 1.04 lakhs the year before that.
Indians make up for 13 percent of the total international student population in the U.S., second to China's 25 percent. Though India is still falls in 2nd place, the number of Indians going to the U.S. has fallen by four percent with reasons owing to visa restrictions, slowdown of the U.S. economy and tough job market.
Cornell University is trying to abate this trend by receiving an endowment of $50 million from the Tata Education and Development Trust, a philanthropic entity of the Tata Group. The endowment consists of $25 million to establish the Tata-Cornell Initiative in Agriculture and Nutrition, which will contribute to advances in nutrition and agriculture for India; and $25 million for the Tata Scholarship Fund for Students from India, to help attract more of the best and brightest students to Cornell from India.
The scholarships will be offered to between six and 10 students annually, depending on level of need, and could ultimately support up to 25 Tata scholars at Cornell.
This initiative between the two parties is focused on the goal to improve the productivity, sustainability and profitability of India's food system, with the aim of reducing poverty and malnutrition.
The Tata scholarships will be increased to the optimal number over three or four years. During that period, Cornell will launch an extensive outreach campaign in India to build awareness of the scholarships.