The year 2022 saw a considerable jump in foreign national students in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), as per the latest Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced report
A total of 66 foreign nationals were offered seats in the IITs in 2022. The number in this category had not crossed 10 in the past five years. Experts explained that this can be attributed to the change in definition of foreign nationals applying for professional courses in India. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), who were earlier treated on par with Indians for seats in government institutions, are now considered foreign nationals and are included in the category, as per a government order from March, 2021. Such students are allotted supernumerary seats with higher fees.
A professor from IIT Bombay said, “This increase in number is because of the change in definition of foreign nationals. These may be regular Indian students having passports of other countries due to various reasons. Earlier they were considered as Indians and would be offered seats from the regular pool of seats. But now they too are considered foreign nationals and are offered supernumerary seats created in IITs for foreign nationals.”
In the past five years, the previous foreign national category in the IITs had crossed 10 students. Combined with the OCI and PIO candidates, however, the number is in line with this year. In 2021, eight seats were offered to foreign nationals, whereas there were 62 OCI and 5 PIO candidates. In 2020, there were two foreign nationals and 62 OCI and 2 PIO candidates. There were zero foreign nationals, but 36 OCI and 4 PIO candidates in 2019.
Said the report, “Based on the Gazette Issued by Government of India on March 4, 2021, all OCI/PIO candidates are treated as foreign nationals for JEE (Advanced) and Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSAA) for seat allocation in IITs. Supernumerary seats were offered to foreign nationals subject to a maximum of 10 percent of the total seats in each program. A total of 66 supernumerary seats were created for foreign nationals this year in IITs.”
Courtesy : The Indian Express