Russia aiming to groom bright Indian minds

Russian centre of science and culture in New Delhi conducts interview and if selected tuition fee is exempted

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Moscow: At a time when America is imposing stricter regulations for Indian talents and it’s getting difficult for Indians to pursue a western dream, Russia is now proactively promoting and hunting best Indian minds to be groomed and be inducted to its national resource pool.

The move which is being termed by the academic leaders as “correcting the mistakes of the past” the step taken in this regard is aimed to get past the closed system of the Soviet era promote internationalising of its education system to promote scholarship in science and technology.

“We are opening up the borders of our education system for scholars to come,” said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of National University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISIS, one of the foremost government universities in Russia.

“The politics world over are busy defending their borders and protectionism but we want opening up of borders. We believe that the world is our common house and it must be shared and there has to be mutual learning, added Chernikova.

The statement of the Russian academics comes at a time when the US has imposed sanctions on Russia and Iran and have been following up with stricter immigration policies.

NUST-MISS is known as one of the leading universities of the world as per the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Chernikova and her team feel especially appreciative of Indian scholars taking up courses in Russia and hopes that the Indian students studying in Russia help strengthen the relationship between the two nations.

“India’s achievements in the information technology (IT) sector is commendable Indian students coming to Russian further strengthens our partnership.” She said.

Russia is already in a strategic partnership with India, she adds.

Mikhail Filonov, Vice Rector of NUST MISIS talking to Midday echoed the same views and said that inviting foreign students to Russia is like correcting the mistakes of the past, “we have lost a lot due to the earlier closed education system.”

We were confined to our own silos. This is our problem and we are trying to change that, Filonov added.

NUST MISIS has nearly 20%, foreign students. Of the total of 17,000 students, including 3,300 foreign students from 69 countries. Some of the brightest students in the university are from India.

This reporter met some of the Indian students at Moscow. Vivek Kumar, a Research Engineer and Doctoral Researcher for the ambitious project SHiP – Search For Hidden Particles – of CERN at National University of Science and Tech-MISIS, said that unlike medical courses, very few foreign students come here to study engineering. Vivek has earlier worked on a Conjoint Application of Data Mining Techniques for Analysis of Global Terrorist Attacks: Prediction and Prevention for Combating Terrorism, which was selected for highly selective Publication in Military Conference funded by NATO and United Nations for Counter-Terrorism.

After completing his masters from NUST-MiSIS and with RED- Degree (5 out of 5), presently he works closely with Embassy of India and Education and Military Research. Vivek was also the speaker for Indo-Russian Education Conference, held at 26th Feb 2018, at Russia Today Business Complex, organized by the representative of the Government of India and Embassy. Vivek, who also received best Lecturer Award by IIT-Mumbai and Robot species Pvt. Ltd. for Aakaar-2014, has also served as General Secretary for Model United Nations of NUST-MiSIS.

Another student Ravi Kumar, who is pursuing his master’s degree in Quantum Physics for Advanced Material Engineering at NUST-MiSIS, said that unlike India, in Russia, they give more focus to research than conducting theory classes. Ravi, who is also a recipient of prestigious Ministry of Education & Science of the Russian Federation Scholarship grant, covering up education, living cost, and an additional monthly stipend, said that students should have a good track record as per academics to avail scholarship. “Unlike Australia or UK etc, there is a big relief, if one get admission in Russian university as students don’t need to show any funds or bank statement for visa application. Russian centre of science and culture in New Delhi conducts an interview and if selected tuition fee is exempted. The scholarship is for bachelor’s, master’s and PhD as well. But, there are very few courses and university where the medium of instruction is English. Hence, it’s comparably difficult to get into English instructed program then Russian,” said Ravi, adding,  to understand more about scholarship and criteria one can go there website Russia.study or consult them at Russian centre of science and culture.

Another student, Dhivya Prasanth presently based in Moscow at People Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) as PhD Research scholar. Dhivya did his masters in Defence and strategic studies at the University of Madras, Chennai, India.

Dhivya, who also voluntarily work for the education wing of Embassy of India, Moscow, did practical session in Coastal Defence- Surveillance and S&R operations under Indian Coast Gaurd- Air wing and Industrial Study: Sensitive Area Study in Jammu and Kashmir. He is also pursuing other independent courses from the Princeton University – Paradoxes of war, Case Western Reserve University -Introduction to International criminal law, Leiden University – Terrorism and counterterrorism: comparing theory and practice.

Gopal Karunakaran, also an Indian research scholar, is doing his research in Advanced Materials from NUST-MiSIS, Moscow. His area of expertise includes Nanotoxicology, Nano agriculture and Nanobiotechnology.