Union Minister for HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ held a brainstorming session regarding “Stay in India and Study in India” with senior officials and Heads of Autonomous/Technical Organisations concerned of MHRD in New Delhi today. MoS for HRD Sanjay Dhotre was also present on the occasion. Secretary, Higher Education, Amit Khare, Chairman, UGC, D.P. Singh, Chairman, AICTE, Anil Sahasrabudhe, Joint Secretary (ICC), Neeta Prasad and Secretary General, AIU, Pankaj Mittal participated in the meeting.
While giving his opening remarks, Pokhriyal said that because of COVID-19 situation many students who wanted to pursue studies abroad have decided to stay back in India and pursue their studies within India. He said that there are also rising number of Indian students returning to India with concern about completion of their studies. He emphasized that Ministry of HRD should make all efforts to look into the needs of both these categories of students. He said that this situation is presenting two critical issues of concern:
- Addressing the needs of students aspiring to goabroad
Initiatives needed to retain them by providing appropriate opportunities of education in premier institutions in India
- Addressing the concerns of students returning from abroad
Supporting these students to complete their programme
These issues require a thorough understanding of their present and future educational requirements and career plans which need to be addressed appropriately with timely interventions. Each of the above situations present different sets of prospects and challenges, he added.
The Minister also said that during the year 2019 around 7 lakh 50 thousand students travelled abroad to pursue their studies and because of this valuable foreign exchange moved out of India as well as many bright students moved abroad. He said that we should make all efforts to help bright students to pursue their education in India. Also, as per this government’s manifesto we have to increase seat capacity by 50% in all premier institutions by year 2024 and also Institutes of Eminence should be increased to 50 by 2024.
Speaking on the occasion Sanjay Dhotre said that we need to understand the root cause why students are going abroad and should try to address these issues. He suggested that adequate infrastructure should be created with in India in the institutions so that students can stay in India for their higher studies.
Secretary, Higher Education Amit Khare said that the root causes are many and we should take every step to address the issues and also attract the international students to India under our Study in India programme.
Chairman, UGC D.P. Singh said that we should create more twinning programs, dual degrees and also ensure that that proper research facilities should be created for students who want to return back to India.
Chairman, AICTE, Anil Sahasrabudhe said that AICTE will come out with a white paper soon regarding measures to be taken after studying the entire scenario
The following decisions were taken in the meeting:
- Chairman UGC 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.
- Chairman AICTE will oversee the issues related to Technical institutions.
- 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.
- Chairman NTA and Chairman CBSE may also be called for inputs looking at their experience in education sector.
- Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) will coordinate from MHRD side.
- The Committee will submit report in fortnight time.