Task force for students’ visa issues being set up, says HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal in Pune
Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Tuesday said that the Centre is setting up a task force to address visa-related issues of foreign students coming to India for studies.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a national conference, Destination India - Making India the preferred hub of education, organised by the Indian Council For Culture Relations in association with the Symbiosis International University and Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).
“We are soon setting up a task force comprising the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), University Grants Commission (UGC), officials from the foreign affairs ministry and HRD to address issues related to visa, among others, of foreign students,” Pokhriyal said.
Suggestions from stakeholders such as teachers, students, institutes, elected representatives, government officials and village committees have been received on the new international education policy and the draft is in the final stage, Pokhriyal said.
“There is a need to increase the intake of foreign students in India, and for that, the government will have to consider launching courses related to the vedas, upanishads, culture, ayurveda, yoga, and language,” he said.
“There are only 47,000 foreign students in the country, which is relatively low. The country’s heritage should be promoted in order to attract foreign students,” he said.
Pokhriyal added, “India has been a ‘vishwa guru’ (world leader) due to ancient universities like Takshila, Nalanda, and foreign students who come to India should return with our knowledge, science, research, ancient traditions and for this a new curriculum needs to be launched and we need to identify good colleges and universities in the country.”
The minister also stressed on the need to build hostels and mess facilities that will serve global cuisines to foreign students. In addition, there is a need to build a network of alumni who are studying in foreign countries.
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, president, ICCR, who was also present at the event expressed gratitude towards NITI Ayog for its commendable job done in the direction of education and also talked about solutions like setting up of institution of democratic government to strengthen the curriculum offered by Indian universities. He further reiterated that the Indian embassies abroad also need to contribute to the efforts for attracting foreign students to India.