India to sign education agreement with 30 countries

India is likely to sign education agreement with 30 odd nations in Asia, Africa, West Asia and Commonwealth of Independent States for mutual recognition of academic programs and degrees, according to a PIB report.

The initiative comes days after kick-starting a ‘Study in India’ Program with the stated purpose of attracting overseas students. It is learnt that the Human Resource Development Ministry has already moved a proposal to the Ministry of External Affairs, urging the latter to reach out to the said countries for inking the agreement on mutual recognition of academic qualifications, according to the report. The countries that are likely to sign the agreement with India includes Nigeria, Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan Yemen, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Oman besides our neighbouring nations such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

Education Exports

Under the program, the HRD Ministry is also offering attractive fee waivers and free ships to overseas students taking admission in Indian higher education institutions in 2018-19 academic year. With this program, India is aiming at doubling its market share of global education exports from 1-2%, the report added.

Salient Features

The Study in India programme would provide one stop solution through the creation of a centralised portal studyinindia.gov.in. The website will be supported by an App and a Helpline number. The website will not only provide information on the latest offerings on Indian education but also facilitate admissions to the foreign students and help them make informed choices based on individual aptitudes and career goals. EdCIL (India) Limited, a Mini Ratna Category I CPSE is the implementing agency of the Ministry of HRD for the Study in India education campaign. NIRF ranked and NAAC accredited institutions with a 3.26 score have been included in the programme. The Study in India programme is a joint initiative of Ministry of HRD, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The Study in India website, jointly launched by Swaraj and Dr. Satyapal Singh, Minister of State for HRD in New Delhi on April 18, 2018 has a slew of salient features The program proposes to open Institutes of National Importance to overseas students in the first ever initiative of its kind, 160 Institutions will offer 15,000 seats in the initial round.

The new portal, studyinindia.gov.in was launched at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, besides the integration of e-SANAD website and National Academic Depository (of HRD Ministry). While speaking on the occasion, Swaraj said: “The quest for knowledge has always been fundamental to India’s culture and civilizations. Throughout our history, our country has made seminal contributions to human thought, philosophy and development. In fact, our ancient philosophical concepts such as Vasudeva Kuttumbakam and Sarva Dharma Sambhava remain eternal. The Study in India is an innovative initiative to attract students from our partner countries to come and experience the very best of academic learning from the top institutions in the country. What is more, this will be achieved through systematic brand building, identifying quality institutions for receiving the students, creating suitable infrastructure and facilitation structures. The Study in India website will become a single window to cover all aspects relating to studying in India for overseas students.”

Speaking through video conferencing, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “The ‘Study in India’ initiative will open the gates of prominent educational institution of India for foreign students. He said that to begin with the focus is on students of 30 Asian, African, Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and hope that families from America will send their children to India for under graduate courses one day. India was the education hub of the world education with long heritage of Nalanda and Takshashila . Now, India is again surging ahead in education sector with more than 40,000 colleges and more than 800 universities. Top most colleges have been granted graded autonomy. Graded autonomy will help educational institutions to expand on their own; they can improve their programs, launch new programs as per the need. They can take in foreign faculty and foreign students. Thanks to the recent reforms in education sector, now India has become a prominent center for affordable and quality education.”

Satyapal Singh said: “India believes in the theory of ‘Vashudhaiva Kutumbkam with the rich history of educational institutions like Takshashila and Nalanda. He said that with the integration of e-SANAD and NAD – National Academic Depository, the education system in India is now more transparent.” Satyapal Singh said that for the first time, prominent Indian Educational Institutions have been opened up under this programme which will be of benefit not only to the foreign students but also to India. R. Subrahmaniyam, Secretary (Higher Education), Ministry of HRD said: “India is a place of wisdom and the country believes in knowledge without borders. This year, 15, 000 seats have been offered by 160 Institutions under the program.”

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