New Delhi: The education policy will be reflecting India's foreign policy that focuses on Africa. While reworking the initiative for foreign students, the HRD ministry decided that, special attention should be given to African students in Indian educational institutions in both private and government sections.
Sources from HRD said that, India has become an inviting destination for students from Africa who come on scholarships given by government and also to those who can pay for their studies. "We want them to attend good institutions," a source said. A new mechanism will be put in place, as decided by the HRD ministry, which will ensure that the students go to good colleges after they have been alloted a university. Following what many universities in the US do, the Indian universities must offer remedial courses for African students, as per the ministry. A senior ministry official received several complaints from African students earlier this month, regarding the the lack of infrastructural facilities along with their personal problems at various colleges in Pune, where the courses were offered in Marathi language. These students who are mostly on scholarship offered by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Indian Technical Education Cooperation said that Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) is creating problems for them.
As a part of the ministry's inclusive programme to attract students from overseas, and to make their stay in India pleasant, HRD secretary Ashok Thakur has introduced a new scheme to make foreign student offices and international hostels in 15 to 20 universities. A ministry official said, "Foreign Student Office should be one stop institution that should take care of all the needs of foreign students so that they do not have to run around for various clearances."
A meeting of UGC, ICCR and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been summoned by the HRD ministry, to inquire about the issues regarding the well-being of foreign students. A seminar has been planed to take place in Pune, where a huge number of international students, vice-chancellors and deans of universities having considerable number of students from overseas will gather, to stress upon the need for well-being of international students in India.