The Joint Admission Board (JAB) of IITs decided on 21 August, 2016 that students from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Singapore, the UAE and Ethiopia will be allowed to directly appear for the JEE (advanced) test, skipping the preliminary JEE (main) test.
Apart from demonstrating India’s soft power, this move was made in order to pave the path for the IITs to the list of top international educational institutions.“In all international rankings, one of the key parameters is international students and IITs lose out in a big way despite scoring well on other parameters,” an official said.
This idea has been approved in-principle. But furthermore each IIT will also ratify it and the IIT council will approve it next week,” another official said.
Every country has been selected for a specific reason. The choice of Ethiopia, as the only country from Africa has evinced a lot of curiosity. Justifying this choice, Gautam Biswas, director of IIT-Guwahati, said, “For the last many years, we have got a large number of Ethiopian students in post-graduate courses. IITs are popular there.” For instance, IIT-Guwahati had eight MTech students from Ethiopia. “The UAE”, an official said, “was selected as people of various nationalities reside in Dubai and Abu Dhabi”. While Pakistan has been left out due to home ministry’s objection.
Exam centers will be set up in these countries. Foreign nationals will be given seats under supernumerary category and IIT-Bombay is entrusted with the job of implementing the programme. In any case, foreign students would not occupy the seats meant for Indians. The cost of admission will be recovered from the foreign student and the government will not bear any expense on account of foreign students. They will be given the same facilities as Indian students.
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