New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur leaves for Rashtrapati Bhawan from North Block in New Delhi on July 5, 2019. (Photo: Bidesh Manna/IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, July 5 : Experts in the education sector have hailed the announcement of "Study in India" programme by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to attract foreign students in the country. They also believe that the country has potential to become an education hub.

"We are pleased to hear that the government is keen to make India an international hub for education," said Gaurav Srivastava, Regional Director, South Asia, GMAC.

He said: "We have been running a 'Study in India' campaign for the last two years in partnership with some leading business schools to help them getting international candidates in their classroom, who bring diversity and a rich perspective of what is happening in other economies."
During her maiden budget speech, the Finance Minister said that three institutions -- two IITs and the IISc - now figure in top 200 institutions in the world university rankings and the government will start a programme named 'Study in India' to encourage foreign students to study in Indian varsities.

"India has the potential to become the hub of education and the 'Study in India' programme will focus on bringing foreign students to the country," she said.

A sum of Rs 65 crore has been allocated in the Budget for the initiative.

The sector also responded positively to the government's assurance to bring the new education policy into effect, keeping in pace with the changing needs of the education sector against the backdrop of technological advancement.

"Two significant initiatives, National Education Policy and the Union Budget, coinciding this year is a huge opportunity for the education sector. We welcome the government's proposal of setting up National Research Foundation to improve the quality of research across all levels of private and public educational institutes. I believe it can be a game-changer. However, there is a need for a higher focus on 'K-12' education system," said Srini Raghavan, Founder and CEO, Educational Initiative.

Sitharaman also emphasised on imparting new-age skills in areas like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, 3-D printing, virtual reality and robotics to equip youth to take up high-paying jobs overseas. The industry experts have welcomed the government's move to close the wide gap between the education imparted and job ready skills.

"Skilling is a segment which requires a closer look as India still in grips with acute skill shortage -- the gap between education imparted and the skills required, is vast. As a solution, this budget has brought a great amount of hope. Government's move to have 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs is set to boost skill development and job creation," said Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder & Chairman, ICA Edu Skills.

"For this, the government has proposed to focus on creating training modules for industry-relevant skills like AI, IoT and Big Data. This, in turn, will help address the severe skill shortage technology and IT companies are facing right now. ICA heralds this move and pledges to continue creating such path-breaking curriculum, empowering students to reach to the zenith," he said.

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