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IITs May Admit Foreign Students From Next Academic Year

Currently, IITs spend Rs.5 lakh per student with IIT Madras being more cost effective spending about Rs.4 to 4.5 lakh.

Published: 06th April 2016 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2016 05:55 AM   |  A+A-

IITs

ABB robot YuMi takes a snap with a mobile at IITM on Tuesday | Sunish P Surendran

CHENNAI: In one year’s time, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the country will in all probability, open their doors to international students for their undergraduate and postgraduate studies through a common entrance examination conducted in several countries.

A final decision is likely to be taken in the next IIT Council meeting.

Responding to a question whether this move will restrict the number of Indian students in the IITs, Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director of IIT Madras, said “Of course, we can’t take away the seats of Indian students to bring in foreign students. What the Central government is contemplating is to increase the number of seats by 100 to 200. The number may vary between IITs. Foreign students who seek admissions will be charged the full course fees. The government may consider giving scholarships to students of certain countries, but in general the public money will be used,” the IIT Madras director said.

For undergraduate studies, Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) will be conducted in several countries and for postgraduate courses Graduate Aptitude Tests in Engineering (GATE) will be one of the criteria for selection of candidates. Since admissions to IITs are decentralized, IITs are free to take students from different countries.

The IIT director said the demand for IIT seats depends on pricing. Currently, IITs spend Rs.5 lakh per student with IIT Madras being more cost effective spending about Rs.4 to 4.5 lakh per student.

“Now, we have to see what government decides on cost of the courses. If it is less than some of the countries like Australia, then definitely there will be rush from SAARC countries and even from some of European and countries in the east,” Ramamurthi said.

Regarding the logistics of getting international students, the director said, “Our campus at any given time has 100 foreign students as part of the exchange programmes and there are no complaints as of now. The institute has a separate office, which takes care of immigration and other paper work. We are not going to build separate hostels for them. They will be living alongside the Indian students. We can have a Western mess, which should not be a problem. Already, we have 9 different cuisines,” the IIT director further added.

“Earlier, there were issues with the accents of some teachers due to which foreign students were finding it difficult to follow the classes, but now that problem also has been addressed,” Ramamurthy said.

The IIT Madras director was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event where IIT Madras signed an MoU with ABB for R&D cooperation in microgrids, energy storage solutions and green energy projects.



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