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External Affairs Minister's Remarks at Launch of Study in India Programme at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (April 18, 2018)

April 18, 2018

Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State for Human Resource Development (Higher Education)
Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Higher Education
Shri Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, Secretary (CPV & OIA)

Ambassadors,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am delighted to be here with you all today, as we mark an important milestone in our efforts to bring India back to its rightful place as a global knowledge hub. I congratulate my colleagues in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the higher education stakeholders who are with us today, on the launch of the "Study in India” Programme.

Friends, at the outset I wish to place this initiative in some context. The quest for knowledge has always been fundamental to India’s culture and civilization. Throughout our history, India has made seminal contributions to human thought, philosophy and development. Our ancient philosophical concepts, such as Vasudeva kuttumbakam and Sarva Dharma Sambhava, remain eternal.

Indeed, they are as relevant in today’s challenging times than ever before. We can rightfully, say that India is one of the few places in the world, where modernity and ancient traditions co-exist in harmony.

Since time immemorial, India has been known to the world as ‘Vishwa Guru’. Knowledge-seekers and curious minds from across the world came here to study in universities like Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramshila, Pushpagiri, and Somapura. These globally renowned seats of learning not only stood at the crossroads of many civilisations but influenced and enriched those civilisations.

As you are aware, we have revived the Nalanda University. Ancient Nalanda was a centre of excellence, devoted to the study of philosophy and Buddhism and was also a centre for the advancement of science and technology. One of the most important characteristics of ancient Nalanda was, that it was an international institution where Asian linkages, in particular, flourished.

We are today replicating this vitality in modern Nalanda, by ensuring, that foreign students of all backgrounds can benefit from a unique learning environment anchored in the spirit of friendship and cooperation and united by the pursuit of knowledge in atmosphere, that promotes discussion and debate.

You may be thinking what exactly are we trying to achieve with the Study in India Programme? I would like to answer with a network of around 800 universities and 3800 colleges, India’s higher education system is among the largest in the world. We need to harness the full potential of our wide education network and attract international students.

The "Study in India’ is an innovative initiative to bring together various scholarship and self-financing programmes and 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. This will be achieved through systematic brand-building, identifying quality institutions for receiving the students, creating suitable infrastructure and facilitation structures.

As we saw in the presentation, the "Study in India Portal” will become a single window to cover all aspects relating to studying here: from planning academic courses, to the application process and to finding accommodation.

In fact, I will venture to say that "Study in India” is not new. It existed since ancient times and Indian centres of learning produced world famous alumni such as Megasthenes, Hiuen Tsang, Fa Hien, and Al-Barauni, all of who went on to spread the word, far and wide, and wrote treatises based on India’s knowledge systems.

It is a matter of pride for me, therefore, that India continues to be a centre for learning. Young children across the world avidly seek to study here, through our scholarships and capacity building programmes, be it through the ICCR or ITEC programmes or other scholarship programmes offered by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Each year we host thousands of students from around 160 countries, enabling them the opportunity to study in our educational and research institutions. Through "Study in India” programme, we are once again opening the doors of our institutions of higher education.

Friends, a few days ago, I was at a ceremony to honour the achievements of our international ICCR Scholars. Alumni of Indian institutions around the world are playing a leading role in different fields – be it politics, economy, or science and technology.

Their achievements in their respective fields, give us pride, and provide an instant connection and a sense of belonging and affinity with them.

These alumni are essentially India’s goodwill ambassadors as when they return home after completing their studies, they take back a bit of the Indian ethos with them.

Additionally, the e-Sanad platform, which has just been unveiled, is a user-friendly digital platform, to make a simple and user-friendly experience for prospective students.

The project has been conceived as an "Online e-Service Portal for verification & attestation of documents”. The e-sanad will be linked with the national academic depository (NAD).

The linking of e-Sanad with NAD will promote the objective of e-Sanad by enabling the attestation and apostilling of educational awards in NAD online through e-Sanad.

I hope that the linking will also encourage more educational institutions and universities to join NAD, contributing to the objective for which NAD was set up, that is, as a 24x7 online store house of all academic awards. Taken together, these measures are designed to greatly streamline and simplify the academic documentation and verification process.

I am confident that this e-Sanad initiative linked to NAD will be successful in promoting the "Study in India” programme. These initiatives will help India to regain its position as the education and knowledge hub of the world. Our objective should be to once again make India the world’s ‘Vishwa Guru’.

I once again congratulate all those who are associated with this programme, and extend a heartfelt welcome to all the young scholars coming to India.

Thank you,
Jai Hind!

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