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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2676

Indian Education Fair Inaugerated

Colombo, 03 March, (

Minister of Higher Education Mr. S.B Dissanayake, inaugurated the “Indian Education Fair-2013 yesterday (March 02, 2013) at the BMICH in Colombo in the presence of Mr. Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka and Mrs Anju Banerjee, Chairperson and Managing Director of EdCIL India Limited.

While addressing, Chief Guest Minister Dissanayake congratulated the organizers for bringing the Education Fair to Sri Lanka for the third consecutive year. Minister Dissanayake urged the youth, especially those who have completed their O/L & A/L examination, to visit the Fair and interact with representatives of more than 30 institutions representing nearly 100 colleges. Minister expressed the confidence that students would be able to clarify their queries regarding studying in India directly from the representatives of the Indian institutions.

Minister recalled the strong historical and cultural bonds between the two countries and highlighted the ongoing educational cooperation. He said, it was only natural that India has been one of the most preferred destinations for Sri Lankan students to pursue higher education since many years.

Elaborating further, the Minister said bilateral cooperation between the two countries covers a diverse set of activities ranging from capacity building in the higher education sector to infrastructure development and the much-sought-after fully-paid scholarships to study in India. Minister Dissanayake said officers in his Ministry and the High Commission of India were currently in the process of selecting students for various scholarships, including 125 slots for undergraduate studies, 50 slots for postgraduate studies and 15 places for masters and Phd in subjects such as engineering, bio sciences, management, humanities and fine arts.

Mr. Ashok K. Kantha, Indian High Commissioner said the education sector in India was growing at a rapid pace with nearly 6% of GDP being invested in this sector, out of which 50 percent contribution came from the private sector. While highlighting increase of 17% in the current budget allocation for education in India, he urged that both countries should explore newer areas of cooperation to benefit from each other’s experience.

Indian High Commissioner Mr. Ashok K. Kantha further said, encouraged by the overwhelming response received from students and their parents in its previous two editions, this time the Education Fair was also being taken to Jaffna and Kandy. He said the participating institutions represent some of the finest in their fields. This event would provide the students an opportunity to personally interact with them to seek educational guidance and career planning. The High Commissioner revealed that some colleges at the Education Fair might even consider making on-the-spot offers of enrolment into Indian colleges to eligible students. He urged the students to make use of the opportunity and visit the Fair in large numbers.

On the occasion, Minister Mr. S.B Dissanayake also launched the Education Brochure published by the High Commission of India. High Commissioner Kantha said the brochure was intended to cater to hundreds of queries sent to the High Commission by Sri Lankan students. It provides a brief overview about the structure of higher education in India, eligibility conditions, courses available, and student visa procedures.

The High Commissioner also highlighted that the brochure included a glimpse of various scholarships offered by government of India. He said, since last year, the scholarship programme for higher studies in India was expanded by nearly three times. Ongoing schemes have been expanded and newer schemes have been added to offer about 290 slots annually, for which the Government of India is spending Sri Lankan Rupees 2.5 billion over a 3- year period. The scholarship programme now covers almost all conceivable areas.

Mrs Anju Banerjee, Chairperson and Managing Director of EdCIL reaffirmed that the Education Fair would continue to be an annual feature and promised that next year too the Fair would be taken to Jaffna and Kandy, so that students living in distant areas of the Island could also benefit from it. Highlighting the range of services provided by EdCIL, a government of India enterprise, which is the largest in India providing education related services, would be most willing to offer its services to assist students of Sri Lanka. While observing that more than 1,500 Sri Lankan students went to India every year for higher studies, Mrs Banerjee expressed the hope that the Fair would encourage even larger number of students to explore India as an attractive destination offering world class education at an affordable cost.

- Asian Tribune -

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