Centre sets new norms to raise universities to global standard

The Union government has come up with new guidelines that would push 20 Indian universities to attain world standards.

“There are several universities even from Singapore that have made it to the top 20. In the past, India has had world-class universities like Nalanda. We have to raise our universities to the same standards. Hence, 10 private and 10 government universities would be chosen for this purpose. They will be selected based on their vision, action plan, experience and the people involved,” Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said here on Saturday. He was delivering a talk on “Nurturing India’s Young Ambassadors: Reaching out to Indian Students Abroad” organised as part of the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Several challenges that NRI students faced were also discussed during the session. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is in the process of gathering data of about 6.5 lakh NRI students, according to Vani Rao, Joint Secretary, MEA. This database would have details of students’ degrees, the courses they pursue and their duration. “The website would later be used to issue advisories to students regarding any frauds,” she added.

Among the other challenges, students said that Indian universities ought to merge their academic year with universities across the world to avoid confusion. They also wanted NRI students to be spared of writing competitive exams in India. One of the students asked why they were asked cough up extra fees compared to other Indian students.

They also voiced concerns pertaining to visa extensions. “Sometimes, the duration of the course does not match the visa validity period. MEA must ensure the visa validity is the same as that of the course,” they said. Indian universities granting degrees in regional languages is another challenge that international students are facing as their names are being misspelt at the time of admission by foreign universities.

Meanwhile, Javadekar said that out of 150 scholarships that the government offers to NRI students (Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children), several remain unclaimed. Fifty of these scholarships are reserved for NRI students whose parents work in Gulf countries.

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