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Friday, Aug 30, 2002

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Kerala Govt to set up centre for foreign students

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THE State Government has accorded sanction for setting up a unified co-ordinating centre for handling the affairs of foreign students who are being increasingly wooed to join engineering and management courses in various professional colleges in the State.

An official spokesman said that the centre was being set up with a long-term target of achieving earnings of Rs 200 crore over a period of the next five years.During this period, the centre will have transacted foreign exchange worth an estimated $43 million, boosted tourism traffic and raised the quality of education to international levels.

Earnings from this venture will also help the State Government cushion the impact of the huge financial commitments expended in the setting up of a string of professional colleges.It is also expected to boost employment generation potential in the State.

The other major mandates give to the centre are seeking out and enrolling foreign students into the various engineering and management courses conducted by these colleges, publicising these courses by way of campaigns carried out through various media and co-ordinating with the respective Indian embassies for marketing the seats.

Besides, the centre will act as a nodal agency for assessing proficiency of English language among the applicants, appoint marketing agents in countries where India does not have official representation and perform the supervisory/guidance role for toning up infrastructure in the beneficiary colleges.

A committee to be set up with the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, as ex-officio chairman, and directors of nodal institutions specialising in technology and human resources development and principals of engineering colleges as members, will be constituted to handle the administrative functioning of the centre.

The All India Council of Technical Education's (AICTE) guidance will be availed for selecting colleges under the programme.

After identifying prospective applicants, the centre will conduct an online aptitude test at the respective Indian High Commission for which a fee of $250 is payable.

Of this, the Embassy/High Commission will receive $100 and the agency which is assigned with the job of carrying out the test, $75.

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