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IIT Delhi’s new PhD programme for foreign students will strengthen India’s global brand, says director

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019

The fees for the international students will be lowered and they will receive stipend as per the JRF, SRF provisions, writes Sheetal Banchariya

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has launched a new programme for international students aspiring to pursue research at the Institute. The biggest bonanza for the international students is that the students enrolling in the International PhD Fellowship Programme (IPFP) will have a lower fee to pay. 

Unlike other courses, the foreign students pay the fee almost similar to what the Indian students pay, each semester. They will also receive a stipend as per the JRF, SRF provisions. The foreign students will receive a stipend of Rs 31,000 for the initial two years and Rs 36,000 for the remaining period as they finish the PhD. 

“We are now aggressively focussing on internationalisation of education being imparted at the Institute. Currently, we have as many as 100 foreign PhD students, which is about 1% of total PhD students at the campus. But, we want to raise it to 10% in the next three years IPFP is a way to reach that target,” says V Ramgopal Rao, director, IIT Delhi. 

“Most often, foreign nationals opt for private universities for research and PhD programmes as there is a notion that IITs are tough to get through.  For IPFP admissions, we will be adopting the American way of admissions, which is well-accepted and popular. Foreign students will go through personal interviews on Skype and will be required to produce reference letters at the time of admission. We will also look into considering GRE scores,” he adds. 

At the moment, IIT Delhi lags behind in terms of the number of foreign students and faculty, which was also highlighted in QS World University Rankings 2018. “Encouraging international students will bring international recognition, cultural diversity and improve the institute’s global ranking. The envisioned long-term impact of the newly launched PhD programme is to create a global brand for India and attract foreign students to all the programmes, including bachelor’s, master’s and MPhil degrees, where the students admitted to courses other than PhD will not receive financial assistance,” says Rao.

As many as 500 PhD fellowships will be provided to international students over a period of five years. Rao says that there is no yearly quota for admitting students and the goal is to admit 400 Indian and 200 foreign PhD students in the upcoming academic year 2019-20. The students can apply for PhD in 28 departments including Applied Mechanics, Atmospheric Sciences, Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering.


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