India opens IITs to Nepal students

President Mukherjee also met with a broad spectrum of political and civil society figures in the evening

November 04, 2016 01:27 am | Updated December 02, 2016 01:14 pm IST - KATHMANDU:

Gifts galore:  President Pranab Mukherjee addressing a banquet organised in his honour in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Wednesday.  — Photo: PTI

Gifts galore: President Pranab Mukherjee addressing a banquet organised in his honour in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Wednesday. — Photo: PTI

Reaching out to the younger generation of Nepal, India on Thursday announced that from next year, Nepalese students would be able to compete for seats in IITs.

Announcing the new opportunity for the students of Nepal, President Pranab Mukherjee said academic and student exchange programmes had been part of the “long tradition” in bilateral ties and India would continue to help Nepal with developing its human resources. “I am very happy to announce that from 2017 onwards Nepalese students will have the opportunity to pursue graduate and postgraduate courses in Indian Institutes of Technology on a regular basis. For this, our Institutes of Technology will open their entrance examinations to Nepalese students,” said President Mukherjee during his speech at an event jointly organised by the think tanks of India and Nepal.

More opportunities

President Mukherjee said the youths of South Asia should not remain hostage to “baggage of history,” and urged that they should have more opportunities in education, health, technology and employment generation. “[IIT] aspirants would have the option to write these examinations in Kathmandu,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd that had several former prime ministers and Foreign Minister of Nepal Prakash Sharan Mahat. Arguing for more focus in educational and academic ties between the two neighbours, President Mukherjee said, “Our commitment is reflected in the grant of around 3,000 scholarships to Nepalese students every year, providing opportunities to study in Nepal and in India. We offer more than 250 scholarships annually for Government and non-Government employees of Nepal for training in technical institutes in India.”

President Mukherjee also met with a broad spectrum of political and civil society figures in the evening and reminded Nepal that India remained committed to its “neighbourhood first” foreign policy.

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