Jun 5, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Good news for aspiring international students who want to study in India. 

The Indian government's Study in India initiative seeks to bolster its international student population with fee waivers at the nation's top 160 universities and colleges for two years. 

Little India recently reported that the government will waive or heavily discount international student fees.

There are more perks, too. The government will also expedite visas for students from over 30 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and eastern Europe, where the program has focused its largest marketing efforts. 

The goal? To make India a “hub of affordable education for foreign students," according to India’s Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.

In The Times of India, he said, "We observed that the number of students coming to India for higher education studies had become stagnant and more students were going to countries like Singapore and Australia."

This program aims to change that. 

The Indian government will focus specifically on countries where they have "warm diplomatic relations," including Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Iran, United Arab Emirates, and Rwanda. Over half the 15,000 seats offered beginning in 2018-2019, the program's first year, will be eligible for partial or complete fee waivers. 

The government would like to see a four-fold increase in the number of international students studying in India, from the current 45,000 students to 200,000 by 2023.

In The New Indian Express, Sushma Swaraj, India's Minister of External Affairs said, "The quest for knowledge has always been fundamental to India’s culture and civilization.” She added, “We can rightly say that India is one of the very few places in the world where ancient traditions and modernity coexist in harmony.” 

Learn more about studying in India

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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