“Ensure more students Stay in India and Study in India”: HRD Minister

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Students going abroad for higher education is not a new thing. The phenomenon known as ‘Brain Drain’ is quite visible in India. However, this year, with a pandemic hitting the whole world, many students had to fly back in the mid of their academic session. Also, those who had earlier decided to go abroad to pursue their education, now have no other option but to drop a year or get enrolled here itself. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, held a session on ‘Stay in India and Study in India’

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The meeting, attended by various senior officials and head of technical organisations, decided over to form a committee. This committee will be headed by the UGC Chairman and its agenda will be to ensure that more students stay and study in India. It will try to address the requirements of students who aspire to go abroad and further provide them with appropriate opportunities in India itself.

“Due to the current COVID-19 situation, many students who wanted to pursue studies abroad have decided to stay back and pursue studies in India. There is also a rising number of Indian students returning to India with concern about completion of their studies”, the HRD Minister said during the session.

He further added that almost 7.5 lakh students moved abroad during 2019 to pursue higher education. Thus, a “valuable foreign exchange” moved out of India. Therefore, Stay in India and Study in India will be an initiative that addresses this issue.

Stay in India and Study in India

The campaign tries to explore mechanisms which will help students to stay and pursue their higher education in India itself. The committee formed on Friday is expected to come up with a report on the same within 15 days.

Some of the recommendations discussed during the meeting include:

  • Allowing lateral entry to Indian higher education institutions
  • Starting multi-disciplinary and innovative programs
  • Starting twinning and join-degree programs
  • Facilitating online lectures by eminent facilities abroad
  • Establishing a link between academia and industry

During the session, the HRD Minister also highlighted the plans of the government to increase seat intake by up to 50% for all premiere institutions and increasing the institutes of eminence to 50 by 2024.

‘Study in India’ campaign was launched by the HRD Ministry back in 2018. It tried to address the imbalance between Indian students going abroad for studies and foreign nationals coming to India for the same. It thus focussed on attracting international students to India by increasing seats for them. The agenda of the program was to attract up to 1.5-2 lakh students by 2023.

However, this year due to COVID-19 many Indian students also had to face problems in pursuing their higher education. Therefore, under the Stay in India, Study in India campaign, their needs would be taken care of.

Employment Opportunities for Students

While the campaign tries to address the educational requirements of the students, their employment needs must be also looked at. Many students go to abroad, not only for good education but also for guaranteed placements and jobs. However, in India, there is already a burgeoning educated population that is unemployed.

According to a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s unemployment rate rose to 7.5% during September-December 2019. In the survey conducted, it was found that the unemployment rate amongst the educated youth of India was over 60%. For graduates falling in the age group of 20-29, the unemployment rate stood at 42.8%. Similarly, the unemployment rate for post-graduates stood at 23%. Given this, the pandemic has further created problems for the educated youth to get jobs. Therefore, the government needs to address the gap between education and employment in the country as well.

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Written By Shiwangi, She is doing her Masters in Mass Communication from GGS IP University, New Delhi.

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