What are your options regarding universities and colleges abroad? Are they recognized or not? Is a scholarship available? What are the education loan and medical insurance options? What is the political and economic situation of the country of your choice?
The Government of India is coming to the rescue of Indian students and their parents who are often caught in a maze on such questions. It will launch a Global Indian Students Portal (GISP) soon this year as a “reliable and one-point service delivery platform” for students wishing to go abroad for admissions in educational institutions.
News18 has reviewed a bid document floated in this regard in which the government has laid out details of the functionality of the new portal. The portal will offer a module for the registration of students and provide country-wise information on universities, colleges, and courses with links to institutes. Bids are to be finalized in July and awarded soon.
Importantly, the portal will inform whether equivalence exists for the particular institution and if it is recognized or not in that particular country, and for this links would be created for the established portal in the host country. The portal will also have links to the Indian Mission abroad and details of an Education counsellor who can be contacted by the students.
Major queries that students going abroad have is about scholarships, medical insurance, education loans, and living conditions. GISP will offer details of scholarships available for institutes both from government and private sources, offer links to banks and financial institutions providing loans for studies abroad and banks can also use data on GISP for validating the authenticity of the institute. Similarly, details on agencies providing health insurance will be available.
Broader Outlook Will Be on Offer too
The GISP will also offer students a broader outlook of the foreign countries they wish to go to, including the political and economic situation of various countries and the number of students already studying in that country. The portal will also offer information on the law and order situation in that particular country and region, the socio-political and living conditions besides language issues, and food preferences in those countries. A detailed set of FAQs on countries will be made available.
The bid document says the government is looking at a clutter-free and well-structured design of the portal which is modern, aesthetic, and appealing to the viewer, as well as highly secure. The portal will be hosted on the NIC platform on the Website of the Ministry of External Affairs and will comply with government standards of website security.
The Need for GISP
Nearly 11 lakh Indian students are estimated to be studying abroad in one academic year. There have been some instances of Indian students enrolling themselves in fake foreign universities which were later found to be operating without requisite permission and approval of the host government.
Indian Mission abroad does issue advisories warning students about fake universities and some missions also share a list of genuine universities on their website for the benefit of students. Mission officials also regularly visit local universities and colleges to meet Indian students to address their issues.
The GISP will now be a one-stop platform for such information on all countries. The Foreign Ministry has consulted the Ministry of Education, Health Ministry, Medical Council of India, Association of Indian Universities, and the University Grants Commission before going ahead with setting up of GISP.
The Ministry had earlier in 2015 developed a “Students Registration Module” to create a database of Indian students going abroad where students can register voluntarily and provide data about their courses, location, institution, and duration of the course. A separate category of grievances related to fake universities, fraudulent educational consultants or agents, and safety and security of students, for the Indian students abroad, was also created on the portal.