Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said the government of India will soon launch its Study in India programme to encourage more foreign students to take up education in the country.

“Currently there are 47000 foreign students learning in India and by 2022, we will have at least 100,000 students learning in India,” Javadekar said.

While addressing the Indo-French Knowledge Summit in New Delhi, the HRD minister congratulated both the governments of India and France for extending cooperation in finalization of agreements on mutual recognition of academic qualifications.

“This agreement will go a long way in boosting the educational relationship between the two countries and will encourage mobility of students from both the countries by facilitating possibilities for them to continue their studies in the other country and would also promote excellence in higher education through cooperation, university and research exchanges,” he said.

The HRD minister expressed that both the countries should also look at the possibilities of allowing professionals to practice in each other’s country on reciprocity basis.

“A Joint Working Group (JWG) between the two countries will be formed to take ahead the bilateral cooperation in education and research. The JWG will meet in September,” he disclosed.

Frederique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education and Research and Innovation of France, said education can become an effective weapon to fight poverty and inequality.

“There is a need to simplify administrative procedures to increase student mobility, to address all academic issues to promote cooperation as well as foster new partnerships between institutions for the future,” she said.

The first ever two-day Indo-French Knowledge Summit witnessed a landmark agreement on mutual recognition of educational qualifications between the two countries and over 15 other MoUs were signed between universities and research institutions on joint initiatives and partnerships.

Organized by the French Embassy in India in collaboration with the MHRD, the event witnessed participation of more than 350 people from nearly 80 Indian Institutions and 70 French Institutions along with key enterprises.

During the event, a Franco-Indian Education Trust was also unveiled, which will be funded by the Indian industry and French Companies in India to offer educational scholarships and merit based financial support to Indian students.

With the objective to design a roadmap of Franco-India cooperation for the next five years in collaboration with companies, the Knowledge Summit offered a common platform for a common goal; increase student mobility, enlarge Research & Development collaborations and link campuses to companies with the focus on employability.

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