Embassy Archives What's New/Press Releases

Remarks by Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla at EPSI pavilion inauguration at NAFSA

Washington DC

May 28, 2019

Dr. Dileep Malkhade, Advisor, AICTE, New Delhi, 

Shri P. Palanivel, Executive Secretary, EPSI, 

Shri Siddarth Jain, Advisor, International Affairs, EPSI 

and other distinguished guests from 

Indian and foreign universities and education administrators

I take this opportunity to congratulate Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI), a not for profit organization from India, for putting up this pavilion and offering an opportunity to education administrators from across the globe to acquaint themselves with the strengths of Indian education system.

India witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability in the past 5 years. From being the 11th largest economy in the world in 2013-14, we are heading to become fifth largest economy in the world by end of this year. In Purchasing Power Parity terms, today, India is the third largest economy in the World, after China and USA.

India is poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years and aspires to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter. Due to a stable and predictable regulatory regime, growing economy and strong fundamentals, India could attract massive amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the last 5 years - as much as $239 billion. This period also witnessed a rapid liberalisation of the FDI policy, allowing most FDI to come through the automatic route. The last five years also witnessed a wave of next generation structural reforms, which have set the stage for decades of high growth.

India also enjoys a distinct demographic advantage.India's demographic cycle is about 10-30 years behind that of the other countries, indicating that the next few decades present an opportunity for India to catch up to their per capita income levels. India will be the world's youngest country by 2025 with 985 million people in the workforce. (That is, people in the age group of 15-64 years).

As of now, more than half a million Indian students are studying abroad, with USA as the most favored destination. More than two hundred thousand Indian students are currently pursuing their higher studies here. UK, Australia, Canada are other choice destinations for Indian students. Looking at the economic development and population, India is perceived to be a dream destination for recruiters for Universities in these countries.

However, it is important to note that for half a million students studying aboard, there are more than 30 million students pursuing higher education in India. The Indian Education system is the world's third largest Higher Education System with 907 universities, 43,000 colleges and a capacity of enrolling more than a whopping 30 million students. Higher Education Institutions in India offer courses/degrees that are competitive in the world market in terms of quality but are delivered at one-fourth the cost.

The Indian Education system is vast in size, as well as its academic offerings. A vibrant and diverse education system means a wide variety of courses are available; from the modern and cutting edge to the traditional. Indian education ranges from exposure to the latest advancements of science and technology like Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing to Yoga, Ayurveda, Sanskrit, languages, and classical music and dances. This vastness of the Indian education system directly translates to enhanced opportunities for its students and global learning for an all-round academic and personal development.

A burgeoning IT and Services sector has led to a robust placement oriented education as about 200 of the Fortune 500 companies hire regularly from Indian campuses. India has been and continues to be home to innovation, creativity and leadership. The strength of India's education system may be gauged from the fact that the world's leading companies are being led by students of Indian education system. To give you few examples, Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft is an alumni of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google Inc studied at Indian Institute of Technology,Kharagpur, Ajaypal Singh Banga President and the CEO, MasterCard is graduate from St Stephen's College, Delhi University, Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia has studied in Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Indira Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management,Calcutta.

Some of the leading world leaders and diplomats have graduated from Indian colleges and universities. Aung San Suu Kyi, incumbent state counsellor of Myanmar, Hamid Karzai former President of Afghanistan, William Kwasi Akuffo former Head of the State of Ghana, Olusegun Obasanjo former President of Nigeria, John Samuel Malecela former PM of Tanzania are few examples.

You are guaranteed of the excellent quality education as we have a robust ranking/accreditation system, which you may study while taking admission in Indian University. The University Grants Commission (UGC) is a statutory organization established by an Act of Parliament in 1956 for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education. UGC even hosts the list of fake education institutions in India on its website so that there is no fraud with the students.

Look at the other advantages of studying in India;you will be part of fastest growing major global economy. Studying for short term or long term in India would provide students with an opportunity to understand the government systems, culture, and markets closely. It would provide the international students with a unique perspective and understanding of India that would be useful in their careers in business, government, or non-profit sector.

We also have another pavilion from Indian Public Sector Undertaking EdCIL with the initiative "Study in India". The web portal, 'Study in India' developed by EdCIL is a wonderful platform for students and education administrators across the globe to understand the process of getting admission into Indian Universities.

India also offers numerous opportunities for teaching and Research Collaborations. I will briefly explain two of them, GIAN and SPARC.

  1. GIAN:  During the visit of PM to the US in September 2014, it was decided to establish the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) to facilitate visits by US teachers annually to teach in India. The GIAN programme is now available to all the countries. IIT Kharagpur is the National Coordinator for GIAN. GIAN encourages international faculty to teach at Indian institutions on their summer or winter break.   The host institution and the visiting faculty can mutually decide the duration which varies from 4 days to 2 weeks. Visiting professors receive a stipend to cover their travel and honorarium. The host institution arranges local hospitality. It gives me immense pleasure to share with you that as on date, 1839 courses have been approved under GIAN program and 1402 have been completed. I hope, this will help you to appreciate tremendous appetite in Indian universities to learn from global experience.  (website : http://www.gian.iitkgp.ac.in/ ) The other program is:
  2. SPARC: (Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration) In order to facilitate fundamental and socially relevant research in India, lot of emphasis is being laid to strengthen collaboration between Indian Research groups with Top research groups in the world, so that India scientists and students can interact with the finest minds in the world. It was realized that maximum benefit of collaboration can be harvested only when the Indian Research group, particularly the students can be physically exposed to the world class research facilities and equipment available with Top international groups in their respective Institutes. SPARC proposed to fill up this void in the collaboration eco system, as it not only funds for long-term visit by the International Faculty (2 to 8 months) but would also fund the travel and sustenance of Indian students at the University/ Institute of the International collaborator. The program aims at exposing large number of young students, the torchbearers of the future generation, to state of art developments in science, thereby increasing the number of highly trained scientific manpower in the country, as well as significantly enhance the visibility of Indian Science and Scientists in the world map of highly competitive cutting edge science. The strong joint research should lead to tangible result that should include large number of high quality research publications, solution to key national and international problems, development of niche courses, high quality textbooks and research monographs, imbibing of best practices from top international academicians and researchers, strong bilateral cooperation, and improved world reputation and ranking of Indian Institutions. It is expected that some of the joint ideas would not only lead to breakthrough in science, but would also result in sustainable technological products that will be beneficial to humankind at large. Foreign Institutions in the top-500 of QS World University Rankings or in the top-200 of QS World University Rankings by subject are eligible for support under SPARC.
  3. In the end, to sum up my appeal to you, take maximum international students to India for study, and facilitate maximum research collaboration with Indian Universities. I can assure you; this will be a valuable investment into future of those students and universities.

Let me again thank EPSI for all its efforts.

As I mentioned earlier, we have another pavilion from Indian Public Sector Undertaking EdCIL with the initiative "Study in India" which I will visit after this and take this opportunity to request you all to visit that pavilion as well.