The 2012 Indian Education Fair supported by the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka opened at the BMICH in Colombo today.
With the participation of High Commissioner of India Ashok K.Kantha, Sri Lanka's Senior Minister of Scientific Affairs Tissa Vitharana was the Chief Guest at the inauguration of the 3-day fair.
The Education Fair is organized by Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL), which is a Government of India Enterprise mandated to promote and develop education in India and abroad, the High Commission said in a press release.
It is being held for the second year in succession, and will showcase over 20 of the most reputed Indian institutions representing more than 100 colleges. The participating institutions offer courses in a range of fields such as Science, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, Architecture, Business, Economics and Humanities, in addition to Films and Acting.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Vitharana has lauded the historic bilateral educational ties between the two countries. Expressing gratitude for India's offer of a large number of scholarships numbering over 270 per year, he has said that it would greatly benefit the meritorious students of Sri Lanka. He noted that the scholarships virtually cover every possible area of study - not only science and technology subjects, but also an equal number of openings for arts and cultural areas. He expressed confidence that such a magnanimous gesture from India would contribute in the most significant way to the post-war development of Sri Lanka.
Ashok K. Kantha, the High Commissioner of India, has noted Sri Lanka's exemplary advancement in the field of primary education and said, as a logical step, India was willing to share the rapid advancements made in the field of higher education and research. It was in this context that India had decided to organize this event as an annual feature, so that students who are unable to visit India to explore options could meet representatives of institutions right at their door step in Sri Lanka.
Given that India continues to be a popular destination among Sri Lankan students, High Commissioner Kantha has said the possibilities of cooperation between the two countries in higher education are immense.
He has also highlighted India's decision to increase the number of scholarships by nearly three times, to reach 270 scholarships and highly subsidized self-financing slots, which would be available from the current year. These scholarships would be funded by India under a grant assistance amounting to 2.5 billion Sri Lankan Rupees, to be spent over a three year period. He has pointed out that the High Commission was currently in the process of selecting meritorious students in close coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education, under an extremely transparent process.
Dr. Shaik Suleman, General Manager of EdCIL, has underlined several advantages that India offered to Sri Lankan students as the most attractive destination to pursue higher studies. He has said, India being Sri Lanka's closest neighbor, the travel expenses involved were much less. India provided the advantage the advantage of an almost identical culture and offered high quality education at a fraction of cost compared with many other countries. Dr. Suleman has said EdCIL only recognized the best of professional bodies & institutes, and assured the gathering that the institutions at the Fair had been very carefully selected to suit the needs of Sri Lanka. 'On the Spot' admissions at the exhibition premises would also be possible for the deserving and qualified students. In addition, obtaining VISA would be a hassle-free procedure for the students who enroll with these accredited institutes of EdCIL.
Entry to the Education Fair would be free. It will remain open from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm on 17th, 18th & 19th February 2012 at the BMICH.