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India rolls out student tracking system

The Indian government has rolled out a system to track the activities and academic performance of all foreign students entering the country from April 2013.

Nepal sends the majority of students, but others come from Iran, Ethiopia, the UAE, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

Similar to regulations in the UK and US, in order to admit international students, universities will be required to register with the Foreign Student Information System (FSIS) and provide regular updates on these students.

“We’re just doing what the world does,” a senior government official said. “It’s about balancing the promotion of our education system with security needs.”

Figures from the Ministry of Human Resource Development show that there are about 20,000 higher education students in India currently. Nepal sends the majority of students, but others come from Iran, Ethiopia, the UAE, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

FSIS requires every institution that admits foreign students to register online with the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

The institution must then provide information about the students every three months with information regarding their entry and exit dates, course changes, exam or assessment results and instance of bad conduct.

Students will also be issued a foreign student unique ID number that will be used to identify them.

The system, part of the Union Home Ministry’s Immigration, Visa and Foreigner’s Registration & Tracking (IVFRT) project, has already begun rolling out in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Kolkata, Kochi, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow and Goa.

IVFRT was established to “develop and implement a secure and integrated service delivery framework that facilitates legitimate travelers while strengthening security.”

The government hopes to have all districts in the country under the FSIS by 31 March.

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