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Exclusive university for PIOs, NRIs soon

The university will be set up by overseas Indian trusts or societies with credible standing.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2007 19:12 IST

The government has given its approval to a policy framework for establishing a university in India for children of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIO).

The cabinet decision of Thursday comes at the initiative of Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.

The policy envisages establishing an NRI/PIO university within the demarcated Special Educational Zone (SEdZ) in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to provide affordable and quality education to children of NRIs and PIOs.

The university will be a deemed university under the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act as an Institution of Excellence.

It will be set up by overseas Indian trusts or societies with credible standing and experience in the field of education under the overall supervision of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

An inter-ministerial screening committee will be set up for scrutinising the applications submitted by societies/trusts desiring to set up the university.

An advisory board comprising representative from the UGC, the ministries of Overseas Indian Affairs, External affairs, Human Resource Development, Health and Family Welfare, Indian Medical Council and Dental Council will evaluate the academic and infrastructure standards of the university and its adherence to norms set up by statutory bodies as required, the ministry of overseas Indian affairs said in a statement Friday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had initially announced setting up of an exclusive university for the PIOs during his meeting with the Indian community in Malaysia in December 2005.

He reiterated the government's commitment to the plan at the 4th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the annual conclave of the Indian diaspora, held at Hyderabad in 2006.

At the PBD 2007 in New Delhi, he said the proposal for establishing a university for PIO was under active consideration of the government.

There are around 25 million people of Indian origin living in nearly 130 countries.