In order to make it easier for overseas students to enrol at Indian universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) modified the rules for open and distance learning programmes and online programmes. Through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), this amendment will enable international students with expired passports to enrol in Indian universities.
Prior to this, in order to enrol themselves in any Indian university, international students were required to submit their passports as proof of identity. As a result, several applications were turned down because they were either incomplete or had expired passports.
However, this modification will only be relevant to foreign students who enrol themselves on the e-VidyaBharati Portal and are accepted by MEA. Such students will not be required to have a passport and may provide any form of “national Identity with Photograph” issued by their country in order to enrol.
The Ministry of External Affairs launched the e-VidyaBharati programme to provide tele-education services to African countries. These services are provided free of cost.
Moreover, the e-VidyaBharati (tele-education) project of the Ministry of External Affairs provides scholarships to African students. Over a five-year period, the organisation intends to provide at least 15,000 scholarships to African students.
“The Second Amendment Regulations, 2022 changes the compulsory identifier ‘Passport’ for International students to ‘any national Identity with photograph’ of the country of residence for the admissions through MEA in UGC recognized/entitled Online Programmes.” said UGC Chairman Prof. M Jagadesh Kumar while speaking about the amendment.
“This Amendment is expected to improve the number of enrolments of the international learners in online programmes through projects of the Ministry of External Affair,” he added.