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Last Updated : Aug 26, 2019 05:04 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

India signs MoU with Africa for online courses; focus on Study in India, National Research Foundation

MHRD Secretary expects Rs. 100,000 crore investment in National Research Foundation over next 5 years.

Pramiti Lonkar @LonkarPramiti
Representative image
Representative image

India exchanged MoUs for e-VidyaBharati and e- ArogyaBharati with three African countries at the India Africa Higher Education and Skill Development Summit held in New Delhi.

The MoUs for the e-VBAB network has been exchanged with Republic of Congo, Ghana and Malwai.

The e-network aims at providing quality tele-education and tele-medicine facility by linking select Indian universities, institutions and super-speciality hospitals to African educational institutions and hospitals.

"The Indian government will offer 15,000 scholarships to African students over the next five years to pursue short term courses, undergraduate and postgraduate courses at top Indian universities," said TS Tirumurti, Secretary, Economic Relations, Govt of India.

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Earlier this month, similar MoUs were signed with Benin, Gambia and Guinea during President Ram Nath Kovind's state visit to Africa.

Tirumurti emphasised on Africa as a priority in India's foreign policy and urged other African countries to sign MoUs to avail benefits. He said higher education, digital disruption and machine learning are major challenges that need to be addressed, stressing on the need for the development partnerships to be demand-driven.

Speaking at the same summit, R Subrahmanyam, Secretary, MHRD said India's education system has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last five years.

The government plans to set up a National Research Foundation which will bring an unprecedented amount of investments. Subrahmanyam hinted at a potential investment of Rs 100,000 crores under this scheme in the next five years.

The government is working on 10 different areas for change in the Indian education system. 'Study in India' is a flagship programme aimed at sharing India's education space with countries with geographical proximity to India. Subrahmanyam said Africa is a major focus under this scheme.

Study in India is aimed at easing the admission process. A single portal will enable applicants to apply to over 100 institutes. To enable affordable higher education, 10,000 seats in these institutes will be under fee concession category. Further, there will be a separate fund for free education of the English language to foreign students to ensure seamless learning in the classroom.

Over 4,500 African have applied under Study in India, especially successful in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda.

Around 100 online courses will be launched next month and subsequently in January 2020. This includes courses on data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning courses designed by IITs.

Speaking on the issues faced by African students, Tirumurti said the Ministry constantly monitors these issues. "While there have been localised incidents and we regret these, the integrated experience of African students in India has been positive," said Tirumurti.

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First Published on Aug 26, 2019 05:04 pm
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