Government to Launch ‘Global Indian Student Portal’ to Respond to Study Abroad Applications

What are your options regarding universities and colleges abroad? Are they recognized or not? Is a scholarship available? What are the student loan and medical insurance options? What is the political and economic situation in the country of your choice?

The Indian government is coming to the rescue of Indian students and their parents who are often caught in a maze over such issues. It will soon this year launch a Global Indian Student Portal (GISP) as a “one-stop reliable service delivery platform” for students wishing to go abroad for admission to educational institutions.

News18 reviewed a tender document launched in this regard in which the government presented details of the functionality of the new portal. The portal will offer a module for student registration and provide country-specific information on universities, colleges and courses with links to institutes. Offers are due to be finalized in July and awarded shortly.

It is important to note that the portal will indicate whether an equivalence exists for the institution in question and whether it is recognized or not in that particular country, and for this, links would be created for the portal established in the host country. The portal will also contain links to the Indian mission abroad and the contact details of an education advisor who can be contacted by students.

The main questions faced by students going abroad relate to scholarships, medical insurance, study loans and living conditions. GISP will offer details of scholarships available to institutes from government and private sources, provide links to banks and financial institutions offering loans for study abroad and banks can also use GISP data to validate the authenticity of the institute. Likewise, details of agencies providing health insurance will be available.

Wider perspectives will also be offered

GISP will also provide students with a broader view of the foreign countries they wish to visit, including the political and economic situation in 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 this particular country and region, socio-political and living conditions in addition to language issues, and food preferences in these countries. A detailed set of country FAQs will be made available.

The bid document states that the government is considering a clutter-free and well-structured portal design that is modern, aesthetic and attractive to the viewer, as well as highly secure. The portal will be hosted on the NIC platform on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and will comply with government website security standards.

The need for GISP

It is estimated that around 11 Lakh Indian students study abroad in an academic year. There have been cases of Indian students enrolling in bogus foreign universities which were later found to operate without the required permission and approval from the host government.

Indian Mission Abroad issues notices warning students of bogus 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 with Indian students to resolve their issues.

The GISP will now be a single platform for this information on all countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs consulted with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Medical Council of India, the Association of Indian Universities and the University Grants Commission before proceeding with the establishment of the GISP.

The ministry had developed earlier in 2015 a “student registration module” to create a database of Indian students going abroad where students can register voluntarily and provide data on their courses, location , their establishment and the duration of the course. A separate category of grievances related to bogus universities, fraudulent educational consultants or agents, and student safety and security, for Indian students abroad, has also been created on the portal.

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