Washington, Nov 22 (IANS) Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao has invited investments from Kentucky in India's infrastructure and educational sector stressing the mutually beneficial nature of their economic engagement.
Rao travelled to Kentucky, also known as the bluegrass state, last week to promote exchanges between India and this important state at the intersection of the US midwest and south, well known for its industries, natural resources and educational centres.
Meeting with the Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear at the state capital Frankfort, she laid stress on building closer economic relations between Kentucky and India, which have resulted in investments by a number of Indian owned companies in Kentucky generating local employment.
Beshear fondly recalled his three visits to India since taking office in 2007, most recently in September 2012, and described them as "extraordinary experiences both economically and culturally," according to an Indian embassy release.
The governor highlighted two recent landmark business deals by Indian companies in Kentucky − one, a $7 billion 25−year contract between India's Abhijeet Group and Kentucky's FJS Energy LLC for import of coal − an important natural resource of Kentucky; and the other, a $180 million investment by an Indian packaging company, Flex Films in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
At the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky at Lexington, Rao was welcomed by its Dean, David Blackwell who hosted a round−table for Rao with the Kalam Endowment research grant recipients, and some select faculty members from the University's Martin School of Public Policy and the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.
The Kalam Grant was instituted by the APJ Kalam India Studies Research Programme named after the 11th President of India, who visited the Gatton College on a two−week teaching assignment in 2010.
The programme supports research in India's role in international commerce and facilitates intellectual interaction between scholars in India and in the Gatton College. During the interaction, the grant recipients briefed Rao on their researches.
During the visit to the Bluegrass Community College in Lexington, Rao interacted with the senior faculty and management team of the institution and enquired about the various aspects of its functioning.
Noting India's growing need for affordable higher education and vocational skills development, Rao highlighted India's interest in learning from the US experience in setting up community colleges.
She invited the Bluegrass Community College, which provides education to 12,000 students across six centres, to explore collaborative avenues with Indian educational institutions.