A month after launching the ‘Study in India’ portal to woo foreign students, the Central government is now taking a step forward to sign an agreement with 30 countries.

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has in this regard requested the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to reach out to 30 countries for signing the pact on mutual recognition of academic qualifications.

“The MHRD has requested the MEA to pursue its proposal for mutual recognition of degrees with all 30 countries in Asia, Africa, West Asia and Commonwealth of Independent States,” a ministry official was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The ministry official hopes that the signing of the pact will benefit the Indian higher education institutes as it will increase the intake of students from these countries. It will also give the Indian higher education institutions an international visibility.

“The signing of the proposed pact will also benefit the students, teachers, researchers of India and the partner countries. The pact would be instrumental in encouraging mobility of students from India to the partner countries, It would seek to promote excellence in higher education through innovative collaborations and research activities,” he added.

The ‘Study in India’ portal was jointly launched by Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Union Minister of State for HRD Dr Satya Pal Singh on April 24.

“The ‘Study in India’ is an innovative initiative to attract students from our partner countries in South Asia, South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa to come and experience the very best of academic learning from the top institutions in India,” Swaraj had said while launching the program.

The prime objective of launching the ambitious scheme was to increase the number of foreign students in India to 2 lakhs by 2023. At present India is hosting around 45,000 international students, which accounts for 1 per cent of the global student mobility.

Sanctioned at a budget of INR150 crores, the ‘Study in India’ scheme will promote India as a top destination for higher education and funnel demand in the direction of the supernumerary seats.

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