To strengthen and promote the IIT brand outside India, the Indian Institutes of Technology are mulling to hold their entrance tests in foreign countries for the first time. The aim behind holding the entrance test in eight countries is also to attract more international talent for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The eight countries include Singapore, UAE, Ethiopia and SAARC nations Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The decision to this effect was taken at recent a meeting between officials of HRD and External Affairs ministries.
"The entrance tests to the IITs abroad have been held till now only to admit Indian nationals. This is for the first time that it has been planned to admit foreign students through tests held abroad. It is aimed that the plan would be operationalised from the JEE/GATE exams to be conducted in 2017," a senior HRD Ministry official told PTI.
The students will be selected through a common entrance exam which would be administered by the IIT with the help of Indian missions in these countries. Officials, however, added that seats to be offered to foreign nationals would be supernumerary or additional in nature and would not reduce those available to Indian nationals at the 18 IITs.
The fee applicable in the case of foreign students will also be more as the subsidised fee which Indians pay would not be applicable to them. To facilitate these foreign students, MEA will consider giving them research visa for the duration of the programme rather than one year at a time, officials added.
While the test is to be held in 2017, the outreach programme for the exercise would begin from August this year and will be conducted in all these eight countries. IIT Mumbai has been asked to prepare the necessary information material for this outreach. It would include details of the tests, the courses and FAQs. A web portal may be created for this purpose, sources said. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will be the nodal agency on behalf of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for these tests.