The Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development announced the launch of the ‘Study in India’ programme to attract foreign students to the higher education sector.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal, in a written reply during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha last week, stated that the programme is under implementation.
“The programme focuses on attracting international students from select 30-plus countries across South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. The programme envisages participation of select reputed Indian institutes and universities by way of offering seats for international students at affordable rates, along with fee waivers to meritorious foreign students ranging from 100 to 25 per cent,” the HRD minister announced on Thursday.
A centralised admission web portal was also launched for foreign student admissions. The website identifies five steps for foreign students to study in India, which also includes adequate research about the course they wish to study. The candidates can choose from over 160 private and public institutes that provide 1,500 courses at the undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD level.
Students can register themselves for the courses of their choice and institutes and check their results online on the portal itself. There are also facilities for fee waivers and concessions for overseas students and Indian diaspora students, apart from scholarships provided by individual institutes.
The General Scholarship Scheme (GSS) is an annual programme for international students belonging to certain Asian, African and Latin American countries at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as for pursuing research at Indian universities.
Another scheme is the Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC), offered since 2006-07 to the children of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and non-resident Indian students (NRIs). A revamped SPDC was launched from the academic year 2016-17 with extension from 40 to 66 countries and enhancing the number of scholarships from 100 to 150, with 50 earmarked for Children of Indian Workers in ECR counties.
A general outline of the Indian student visa criteria is listed below:
- Indian missions/posts grant a student visa for a period of five years or for the duration of the course of study, whichever is less, to the below:
- To foreign students coming to India to pursue regular and full-time academic studies in India.
- For foreign students coming for industrial training, summer project and internship.
- Provisional student visa valid for six months for the students exploring admission or taking admission tests.
- Applicant should possess the proof of admission to a full time regular academic course in a reputed/recognised educational institution in India and evidence of financial support.
- The applicant should also possess a "No Objection Certificate" from the Ministry of Health in case of admission in medical or para-medical course.
- Spouse and dependent family members accompanying the applicant must apply for an Entry Visa. Its termination date will coincide with the period of the principal visa holder.
Student visas are issued for up to five years, depending on the duration of the course. They can also be extended in India.
The visitors are required to fill an online visa application by visiting a website and visit their nearest embassy with printout of the online filled application and required travel documents.
— Passport with six-month validity
— Passport size photographs
— Photocopy of passport
— Proof of residential address
— Copy of online filled form
— University admission letter
— University details