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Updated: December 12, 2009 19:55 IST

Tharoor favours liberalisation of student visa system

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Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs.
The Hindu Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs.

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Saturday favoured liberalisation of the visa system to attract more foreign students, but said security issues contributed to making the regime restrictive.

Speaking on the issue of marketing India’s higher education worldwide, Mr. Tharoor said his ministry would be in favour of liberalising the visa regime for students.

“I have also tried to raise my voice on this... My ministry will be much more in favour of liberalising student visas, our difficulty is with our friends in the Home Ministry who run the (Foreign Regional Registration Offices) FRRO offices.

“And you can’t entirely blame them because every time somebody like a David Headley or a Tahawwur Rana gets a visa... this creates problem,” he said.

He said this while responding to the issue of unfriendly visa procedures and “harassment” of foreign students by Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO), raised by Narendra Yadav, Member (Education) Planning Commission.

Tharoor said there is urgent need to create additional capacity to attract more students.

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