US state dept designs master’s programme for Indian students

US state dept designs master’s programme for Indian students

In line with NEP, US state dept designs master’s programme for Indian students


The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which was approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 29 July 2020, is a landmark document that aims to transform the Indian education system by 2030. The policy is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and seeks to provide universal access to quality education for all. One of the key features of the NEP is its emphasis on internationalisation of education, which includes promoting student mobility, academic collaborations, and cultural exchanges with foreign institutions.

In this context, the United States (US) State Department has initiated an educational programme that will create a new pathway for Indian students to pursue a one-year professional master’s degree with an industrial specialisation in American universities. The programme is in line with India’s NEP and aims to deepen the knowledge partnership between the two countries. The programme has been designed by Akhilesh Lakhtakia, a Jefferson Science Fellow at the State Department’s South and Central Asia (SCA) bureau, who was brought in from his academic position as a professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State University to study India’s NEP and come up with a mutually beneficial proposal.

What is the programme about?

The programme is called the Professional Master’s Degree Programme with Industrial Specialisation (PMDIS). It is a one-year course that will be offered by American universities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. The programme will have three components: core courses, electives, and an industrial project. The core courses will cover the fundamentals of the chosen discipline, while the electives will allow students to explore their areas of interest. The industrial project will be a capstone experience that will involve working with an industry partner on a real-world problem.

The programme will begin in the fall semester of 2024. Twenty American and over 15 Indian universities are in discussion about how to take advantage of the initiative, with the State Department acting as a facilitator. The participating universities will be announced soon. The programme will be open to Indian students who have completed their bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and have met the admission requirements of the American universities. The tuition fees will vary depending on the university and the discipline, but scholarships and financial aid will be available for eligible students.

What are the benefits of the programme?

The programme offers several benefits for Indian students who want to pursue higher education in the US. Some of them are:

- The programme will provide a fast-track option for Indian students who want to earn a master’s degree in one year instead of two.
- The programme will enable Indian students to gain specialised skills and knowledge that are relevant to the industry and the job market.
- The programme will offer Indian students an opportunity to work on real-world problems with industry partners and gain hands-on experience.
- The programme will expose Indian students to different cultures and perspectives and enhance their global competencies.
- The programme will allow Indian students to stay in the US for up to three years after completing their degree, as per existing and applicable visa rules, to gain work experience and repay their student loans.

How does the programme support India’s NEP?

The programme supports India’s NEP in several ways. Some of them are:

- The programme aligns with the NEP’s vision of providing student-centered, flexible, multidisciplinary, futuristic, and international education.
- The programme supports the NEP’s goal of increasing student mobility and academic collaborations with foreign institutions.
- The programme contributes to the NEP’s objective of creating a pool of skilled and employable graduates who can contribute to India’s development.
- The programme fosters the NEP’s aspiration of promoting Indian languages, arts, and culture abroad.

How does the programme strengthen India-US relations?

The programme strengthens India-US relations in several ways. Some of them are:

- The programme reflects the shared commitment of both countries to enhance their knowledge partnership and cooperation in education.
- The programme builds on the existing ties between both countries in STEM fields and creates new avenues for collaboration and innovation.
- The programme enhances people-to-people exchanges and mutual understanding between both countries.
- The programme supports both countries’ interests in advancing their economic growth, social justice, scientific advancement, national integration, and cultural preservation.

Conclusion

The PMDIS is an innovative educational programme that will create a new pathway for Indian students to pursue a one-year professional master’s degree with an industrial specialisation in American universities. The programme is in line with India’s NEP and aims to deepen the knowledge partnership between India and the US. The programme offers several benefits for Indian students who want to pursue higher education in the US and supports both countries’ interests in advancing their development goals. The programme is expected to launch in 2024 and will be open to eligible Indian students who have completed their bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

Source

(2) National Education Policy 2020 - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Education_Policy_2020.
(3) National Education Policy 2020 - NCERT. https://ncert.nic.in/pdf/nep//NEP_2020.pdf.
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