In order to attract more foreign students and international talent in the prestigious engineering institute Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), the administration has planned to hold their entrance test in various foreign countries. The entrance tests might get conducted in Singapore, UAE, Ethopia and SAARC nations next year, in order to select foreign students for the various undergraduate and post graduate courses offered by the institute.
The decision to hold such entrance tests were made in a meeting, which recently took place between the HRD officials of India and External Affairs Ministry. They further decided to include eight countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (SAARC Countries), Ethiopia, Singapore and Dubai for the same.
According to a senior HRD Ministry official, “The entrance tests to the IITs abroad have been held till now only to admit Indian nationals. This is for the first time that it has been planned to admit foreign students through tests held abroad. It is aimed that the plan will start off from the JEE/GATE exams to be conducted in 2017.”
The officials further made sure that the seats available for the Indian nationals presently at the 18 IITs in the country will not get affected with inclusion of more students from the foreign countries, as their numbers will be additional to the total number of seats that are presently reserved for Indian students. The students will get selected through a common entrance examination, which will be administered by the IIT. The foreign students will also have to pay more fees that that of the students of India, as there study gets subsidized by the government. The officials further added that the foreign students will be allowed to have a research visa for the entire duration, rather a one year at a time visa.
The test will be conducted in the year 2017, but the administration has decided to initiate outreach programme from the month of August. The outreach programme will be conducted by IIT Mumbai and they will give details about the test, the courses and FAQs to the students interested in the examination. There might be a web portal devoted to the same that will come up soon.
On behalf of Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) will act as the nodal agency or the entire programme. The IIT-M Director had previously prepared a report on comprehensive system to attract the international students to the IITs in the country. After the report was submitted Khakhar was asked to prepare a detailed plan, so that JEE and GATE examinations could get conducted in overseas countries. The government is quite keen on making more foreign students read at Indian Institutes like IIT, which will further increase its academic rankings worldwide.