JNU to Target SAARC and Gulf Students
NEW DELHI, 4 September 2007 - With not just Indians, but also foreign
students and nonresident Indians (NRIs) aspiring in increasing numbers to gain
admission to Indian universities, India is now witnessing the reverse "brain
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), placed among the top 200 universities of
the world, according to a survey by The Times, plans to open more examination
centers in other countries to help students there secure admission to JNU.
The university is keen to open such centers in the Gulf and SAARC (South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries. H.B. Bahidar, chief
proctor of JNU, said: "We do not have a center in the Gulf. The center in
Bahrain will help aspiring expatriate Indians to sit for the test and pursue
studies with us." The new importance being assumed by the concept of
"edutourism" is marked by the capital city's premier universities, having at
present about 1,500 foreign students. JNU alone has about 250 foreign students
enrolled for its undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The 2007 admission
notice consisted of a 25 percent seat reservation for international
With marked improvement in India-Pakistan relations, JNU plans to open
examination center in Pakistan too. "The center will help aspiring students from
Pakistan to write the entrance test there. Then they will come and study on
campus here," Bahidar said.
JNU plans to open such centers in all SAARC countries. Bahidar said: "Now we
have centers in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. We are getting a good number of
students from these countries. In due course, we will open such centers in all
SAARC countries." Although opening such centers has long been on the
university's agenda, cool diplomatic ties between New Delhi and Islamabad
restrained the university from setting up a center in Pakistan. "The major
factor is the relationship between both countries. We consider whether we can
continue the center in the long run. Now in view of the growing bonhomie, the
proposal seems very much feasible," Bahidar said.
Once the proposal is approved by the university's academic council, JNU will
be able to set up a center in Pakistan. Within the country alone, entrance
examination for the current academic year was held at 51 towns and cities.
JNU also plans to start new courses in media studies and nano science and
technology during the 11th plan period. "The plan to open new courses is under
consideration by the Planning Commission and UGC (University Grants Commission).
Once approved, we will start the courses," Bahidar said.
Established in 1969 and spread over four square kilometers, JNU is mainly a
research-oriented postgraduate university with about 5,500 students. Recognized
as one of the most prestigious institutions of Asia, JNU has exchange programs
and academic collaborations with 71 universities across the world. The list
includes Yale University (USA), George Washington University (USA), University
of Illinois (USA), University of North Carolina (USA), SOAS (London University),
Lancaster University (UK), Ankara University (Turkey) and MVL Moscow State
University (Russia), among others. Several leading politicians, including Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, have served as guest lecturers here.