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Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal (PTI)
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal (PTI)

HRD ministry asks UGC to devise measures to reduce outflow of students

India has been trying to attract more foreign students for last few years with very little success and it’s Study in India program is likely to face a tough year due to uncertainty over regular academic activities this year

The human resource development ministry Friday asked the education regulator to prepare a report in next 15 days underlining measures to reduce outflow of students to foreign countries for education.

After a meeting with education regulators and some top institutions, HRD ministry said chairman of the university grants commission will head a committee to “prepare guidelines and measures to ensure that more and more students stay here for study in India and come out with mechanism for increasing intake in well performing universities"

“Also mechanisms will be explored for starting multi-disciplinary and innovative programs, twinning and joint degree programs, cross country designing of centers, facilitating online lectures by eminent faculty abroad, linkage between academia and industry, facilitate Joint degree ventures and lateral entry to Indian Higher Education Institutions," the ministry said in a statement.

However, it will be interesting to see how in 15 days, any regulator can develop measures to address a historic problem, and in a truncated academic year amid a surging pandemic institutions will improve quality of education, better research conditions, and make campuses heterogeneous – issues which have been plaguing India’s higher education sector for decades.

India has been trying to attract more foreign students for last few years with very little success and it’s Study in India program is likely to face a tough year due to uncertainty over regular academic activities this year.

The ministry, however, went on to say that separate sub committees consisting of directors of IITs, NITs, IIITs…and Vice Chancellors of Central Universities will be created who will assist Chairman UGC and Chairman AICTE. “The Committee will submit report in fortnight time," the ministry statement said.

India’s large higher education sector comprising over 50,000 colleges, universities and institutions has patches of excellence but largely suffers from quality concerns and lack of industry readiness of its graduates.

Due to covid-19, tens of thousands of Indian students have either come back from foreign countries or have deferred their plan for foreign education, which will help good institutions get a pool of quality students in 2020-21 but the trend may not sustain next year when the study abroad destinations open up.

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