US vice-president Joe Biden today hailed the premier Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay as "one of the leading" technology schools in the world that left him "extremely impressed".
"I have been extremely impressed. This is a great university, one of the leading universities in the world in the field of technology," he said after visiting various laboratories and interacting with students on the campus. Biden's comments came amid talk of declining standards of education in the country.
After visiting the departments of Nano Technology and Earth Sciences, he held a closed-door meeting with female students pursuing doctoral studies in multiple disciplines.
"We are looking at India's future. I mean it," he said, citing the oft-used quote "women are half the sky". Biden, who wrapped up his 4-day India visit with IIT-B as his last port of call, particularly appreciated the diverse work being done by the female students he met in areas as varied as transportation, education and medicine.
Accompanying US officials said the meeting was part of an Indo-US partnership on 'women in science'. "To see these women engaged in science, technology and engineering is something worth promoting very heavily in the US. In the US, now more women graduate from college than men and still there are only 20 per cent or so entering the science stream," he said.
Biden, the first US vice-president to visit India in the last three decades, said the future of the people of this country which is "most open and most representative" is much better.
"We have to take advantage of the collective capabilities of our population," he added.