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NRI University to be set up in Bangalore
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

India's Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has given the go-ahead to Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) to set up such a facility. The university will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 6 billion. The idea of an exclusive university for PIOs/NRIs was first mooted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Overseas Indians conference) in 2006.
The rationale is to have a multi-disciplinary university with seats reserved for PIOs/NRIs. Universities in India face restrictions and regulations in admitting PIO/NRI students. Besides, not all of them provide these students with the courses they opt for.

Currently, an Indian university is allowed to reserve 15% seats for PIO/NRI students.
Around 25mn PIOs/NRIs are scattered in nearly 130 countries. Around 3.5mn of them are thought to be in the Gulf, including over 400,000 in Qatar. Experts estimate India needs at least 1,133 more universities. The existing 367 universities cater to a meager 7% of the 18-24 year age group as compared to at least 15% average for Asia. At any given time, over 40,000 foreign students (including PIO/NRIs) from about 100 countries study in India. In addition, nearly 2,000 foreign students study in India under various governments scholarship schemes.

According to sources, MAHE would develop the university in two phases on 200 acres of land. The multi-disciplinary university would be self-financed. In the first phase, the PIO/NRI University would offer courses in engineering, information technology, humanities, biotechnology and business administration. Subsequently, a medical college with 100 seats, attached to a multi-specialty hospital, would be set up, the sources added. The university will be run by a special trust that will also have Non Resident Indians as trustees. The fee will be in foreign currency. Even Indian students will have to pay the fee in foreign currency.



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