In keeping with India’s diplomatic focus under Modi, 13 of the 35 target countries are from West Asia, with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and UAE in the list.
New Delhi: West Asia will be the big focus of the Modi government’s high profile ‘Study in India’ campaign, designed to attract over two lakh foreign students to Indian institutions by 2023.
The human resource development ministry has sought Rs 150 crore from the government to launch the project, and the bulk of it will be spent on an aggressive brand-building plan for ‘Study in India’ in 30 target countries.
In keeping with India’s diplomatic focus under Modi, 13 of the 35 target countries are from West Asia with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and UAE in the list, besides other West Asian nations with a sizable Indian population.
China is also among the target nations, besides other ASEAN nations – Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. There are five nations each from Africa and the SAARC region, besides Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan from Central Asia.
Currently, India has about 35,000 foreign students according to government assessments. While Nepal sends the maximum students – 23.6 per cent of the total, it is followed by Afghanistan (9.3 per cent) and Bhutan (4.8 per cent). Nigerian and Sudanese students account for 4.4 per cent each.
What the mission wants to achieve
The idea behind the mission is as much to project India as a country that can provide high quality education at an affordable price as to amplify India’s soft power in the region.
By drawing more foreign students into India, the mission will also help push up the global reputation and rankings of Indian institutes, and possibly double India’s market share of global education exports from less than 1 per cent to 2 per cent.
‘Study in India’ will showcase 115 Indian education institutions, including the IITs and IIMs, as ideal destinations for higher education. Admission to Indian institutions for foreign students will be on the basis of their SAT scores. The scores will also determine the extent of student concessions.