The Indian government has decided to launch brand promotional activities on a large scale in a bid to attract foreign students to study in the country, the parliament was told on March 23.
“The Government has approved an expenditure of Rs 150 crore for the ‘Study in India’ program for two years 2018-19 and 2019-20 which will be primarily for brand promotion activities,” said Minister of State for Human Resources Development Satya Pal Singh in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. The funds will be spent in a span of two financial years, which will start in 2018-19, under the program.
The parliament was also informed that according to the current rules, there is a provision of 10-15 per cent supernumerary seats for foreign students, which will make sure that Indian students are not at a disadvantage.
“Currently, there are 47,000 foreign students learning in India and by 2022 we will have at least 100,000 students learning in India,” Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had said earlier in the month, UNI reported.
The total number of foreign national students enrolled in India in 2016-17 was 47,575, according to the All India survey on Higher Education. The foreign students came from 162 countries from all across the globe. The highest share of students came from the neighboring countries, of which Nepal accounted for 23.6 per cent of the total, followed by Afghanistan at 9.3 per cent, Bhutan at 4.8 per cent, and Nigeria and Sudan at 4.4 per cent each. Malaysia, Bangladesh, Iran, Yemen and Sri Lanka followed, with about 3 per cent share of the foreign students, the survey said.
The survey also revealed that Karnataka has the highest number of students coming from foreign countries, numbering a total of 13,050. Karnataka is followed by Tamil Nadu (4,889), Maharashtra (4,619), Uttar Pradesh (3,602), Telangana (3,461), Punjab (3,246), and Delhi (2,632).
There are 16 programs which are attracting more than 1,000 foreign students and account for more than 81 per cent of the foreign students inflow. “The highest numbers of students are enrolled in undergraduate courses, that is, 76.9 per cent of the total foreign students, followed by post graduate with about 14.5 per cent enrolment. Enrolment in rest of the levels constitutes 8.6 per cent,” the survey added.
Officials in the HRD ministry said that even though there are multiple advantages that come with having foreign students in India for the economy as well as for the students, India is much behind than its neighbors like Singapore and China, the New Indian Express reported.