Immigration department to keep track of foreign students in Chennai
In a bid to keep track of foreign students entering the country, the immigration bureau on Friday launched a project as a pilot programme.
Under the ‘foreign student information system,’ foreigner’s regional registration officer Dr N Kannan said educational institutions, including deemed universities and those teaching yoga and dance, that have foreign students will have to appoint a nodal officer to liaise with immigration authorities.
The institutions will be given a user ID and will have to upload information about foreign students on the bureau’s website and also update their attendance. Earlier, many foreign students would join a college but do business or indulge in other activities, he said. Institutions enrolling foreign students but not registered with immigration authorities would be held responsible for any untoward incident involving these students, Dr Kannan said. The system will be introduced in the next few days in all metros and cities where foreign students come in large numbers. The move follows inputs by intelligence agencies.
Four representatives from Loyola, Stella Maris, Women’s Christian College, Ethiraj and University of Madras were briefed by immigration officials on Friday of the new procedure.
National Informatics Centre deputy director-general Dr B N Shetty told TOI from New Delhi that the bureau of immigration had a fortnight ago launched the ‘Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration and Tracking’ system to help prevent foreigners overstaying in the country. Under this, diplomatic missions are connected to the home ministry with support from the ministry of external affairs and immigration bureau. The system enables authorities to maintain a databank of travelers from those countries applying for an Indian visa and keep track of their movements, he said.