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International students required No passport for enrolling in recognised online programmes via MEA

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jul 25, 2022 9:00 PM

Read Time: 1 minute

International students applying for admission to University Grants Commission (UGC) recognized/entitled online programmes through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will not be required to produce a passport as proof of identification.

"The Second Amendment Regulations, 2022 have changed the mandatory identifier passport' for international students to any national identity with photograph' of the country of residence for admissions through MEA in UGC recognized/entitled online programmes," UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar said.

Amendment for distance learning programmes

This is an important amendment to the open and distance learning programmes and online programmes regulations to encourage more international students to join Indian universities' online programmes recognised by the UGC, according to Kumar.

Under the e-VidyaBharati (tele-education) project, MEA provides scholarships to African students. It intends to provide at least 15,000 scholarships to African students over a five-year period. The UGC-accredited online programmes are available on the e-VidyaBharati portal, and students are admitted through the MEA.

Any national identity with photograph be considered

The MEA discovered that many applications are rejected due to either the submission of an expired passport or the failure to submit a passport. According to officials, the MEA requested that any national identity with a photograph be considered and exempted from the mandatory requirement of a passport in order to secure admission in Indian universities under the e-VidyaBharati (tele-education) project.
Kumar added that this amendment is expected to increase the number of international students enrolled in MEA's online programmes.

However, the UGC clarified that passports will continue to be used as identifiers for all international students who enrol in UGC-recognized and entitled online programmes without using MEA.

Also Read: What is E- Passport, Features, benefits and other; check all details

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