NEW DELHI: A senior IIT professor has questioned the government’s recently launched ‘Study in India’ programme that aims to attract 2 lakh foreign students, every year. Launched by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry in April, the initiative is supported by the MEA.
IIT-Kanpur professor Dheeraj Sanghi, who teaches Computer Science, blogged wondering on what basis the government expects to draw foreigners when 5.5 lakh Indians study abroad due to lack of sufficient quality institutes. “Instead of 1.5 lakh foreigners, can we have a goal to attract 1.5 lakh of these back to Indian universities by 2023? I am convinced that if we can attract Indians to Indian universities, foreigners will also get attracted.”
An MHRD official, however, said the scheme was launched keeping in mind the need to advertise and publicise brand value of Indian institutions. Sanghi asserted that a large number of Indians were abroad because there were not many good institutions. “And therefore, those who didn’t get admission and could afford to study abroad, leave India. If we want to have 2 lakh foreigners, and if we assume that on an average our best institutions will have 5 per cent foreign students within the next 5 years, it means that we must have good institutions with 40 lakh Indian students in them.”
Sanghi told TNIE that due to political situation, the emphasis has largely been on access rather than quality. “I believe quality institutions be opened—whether in public or private sector—and government should subsidise studies, particularly to those belonging from poor families.”