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India targets inbound students with new courses

With newly designed courses on traditional topics, such as yoga, sanskrit and the vedas, India hopes to attract more international students, according to one regional education minister.

Sharma was in the UK for the EWF, and to talk with potential backers of the project. Photo: Ruhi Khan

Some of these courses will also be delivered online, to enable international universities to partner with India and offer these courses

“India will make its foray as an international education destination on the strength of its traditional knowledge bank,” says Dinesh Sharma, deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India and famous for the Taj Mahal.

Sharma, who was a university professor, now manages the ministries of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Electronics and IT departments for the state. As India’s representative in London to attend the Education World Forum 2018, Sharma met his counterparts to discuss innovation in education and how to promote India globally.

“Our strengths lie in our knowledge of the vedas (oldest Indian scriptures), yoga and languages like Sanskrit, and we must capitalise on this to draw international students,” Sharma told The PIE News.

“We want scholars working on Buddhism from across the world to research here”

“We have seen many international universities working on these subjects but India has not been able to market its education on this globally yet.”

Sharma explained how his state is creating an education hub and collaborating with various stakeholders like international universities, global scholars and investors to establish internationally renowned curriculum on the Vedas, Sanskrit and Yoga to attract international students.

The International Yoga Day on June 21, that was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, is extremely popular globally and could provide a great marketing opportunity for courses in Yoga by India.

These universities will be based on the public-private partnership model that encourages private sector resources and participation in national development through the creation and development of schools and universities.

Sharma held several meetings with investors in the UK who are keen to invest in Indian universities.

Another important venture in international education, Sharma says, is to build the “world best centre of Buddhist studies” at the Gautam Buddha University in Noida close to the capital New Delhi.

“We want scholars working on Buddhism from across the world and in particular Buddist nations like Thailand, Myanmar and others to come to India to pursue their studies and research here,” said Sharma.

India is in the process of finalising the curriculum of these courses in consultation with global scholars.

Some of these courses will also be delivered online, to enable international students to pursue these studies from comfort of their homes and other international and private universities to partner with India to offer these courses to their students.

“Various international universities have also shown interest in partnering with us in delivering these courses. We are in the process of finalising these collaborations,” said Sharma who is confident that Indian universities will be able to deliver these courses in 2019.

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