Sunday, December 22, 2013

Indian Government to ease norms for African students

India's foreign policy focus on Africa is soon going to reflect in its educational policy also. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) while reworking its initiative for foreign students has decided that students from Africa should get special attention in Indian educational institutions, both in government and private.

MHRD sources said India has become an attractive educational destination not only for African students who come on government scholarship but even those who can pay for their study. "We want them to attend good institutions," a source said. 

MHRD has also decided to put in place a new mechanism that will ensure that after students are allotted a university they should go to good colleges. On the lines of many US universities, the ministry also wants Indian universities to conduct remedial courses for African students. Earlier this month, a senior ministry official received a lot of complaints from African students about the lack of infrastructural facilities as also about their problems in various colleges of Pune that offer courses in Marathi language. These students — mostly on scholarship offered by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Indian Technical Education Cooperation — said they are facing problems from Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

As part of its comprehensive programme to attract foreign students and make their stay in India comfortable, MHRD Secretary Ashok Thakur has mooted a new scheme to make international hostel and foreign student office in 15-20 universities. "Foreign Student Office should be one stop institution that should take care of all the needs of foreign students so that they do not have to run around for various clearances," ministry official said.

The ministry has convened a meeting of University Grants Commission (UGC), ICCR, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to look into the issues relating to welfare of foreign students. A seminar has been organized in Pune that has a large number of foreign students and vice-chancellors and deans of universities having sizeable foreign students to emphasize upon them the need for welfare of foreign students studying in India.

Source: The Times of India, December 22, 2013

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