UGC panel to address concerns of Covid-19-hit students

UGC panel to address concerns of Covid-19-hit students

As many as 7.5 lakh students had travelled abroad for higher studies during 2019 and several of them had returned to India due to the Covid-19 outbreak

A rising number of Indian students returning to India are concerned about the completion of their studies. Credit: PTI Photo

The Central Government is exploring ways on allowing students, who had to leave their studies in foreign institutes due to the Covid-19 outbreak, to pursue the same in India.

A committee chaired by University Grants Commission Chairman D P Singh will explore possibilities of universities increasing their intake students and starting multi-disciplinary and innovative programs, facilitating online lectures by eminent faculty from abroad and twinning or joint degree programs.

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As many as 7.5 lakh students had travelled abroad for higher studies during 2019 and several of them had returned to India due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The committee will present its report within 15 days.

“Due to the current Covid-19 situation, many students who wanted to pursue studies abroad have decided to stay back and pursue their studies in India. There are also a rising number of Indian students returning to India with concern about completion of their studies,” HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said at a brainstorming session on ‘Stay in India and Study in India’.

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“We should make all efforts to look into the needs of both these categories of students. Initiatives need to be taken to retain them by providing appropriate opportunities of education in premier institutions in India as well as concerns of students returning from abroad need to be addressed by supporting them to complete their programme here in India,” he added.

The committee will prepare guidelines and measures to ensure that more and more students stay in India and come out with a mechanism for increasing intake in well-performing universities.

“It will also explore mechanisms for starting multi-disciplinary and innovative programs, twinning and joint degree programs, cross country designing of centres, facilitating online lectures by eminent faculty abroad, the linkage between academia and industry, facilitate joint degree ventures and lateral entry to Indian Higher Education Institutions,” an HRD Ministry statement said.

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It added that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe will oversee the issues related to technical institutions and separate sub-committees consisting of Directors of IIT, NIT, IIIT, CoA and Vice Chancellors of Central Universities will be created who will assist Chairman UGC and Chairman AICTE.