New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) Ireland plans to offer "special scholarship" for Indian students, said an Irish minister visiting India with a delegation of 16 universities.
Minister for Education and Skills of Ireland Ciaran Cannon said Ireland also wanted its students to come to India.
"India and Ireland have old ties. May of our missionaries run schools here," Cannon told IANS in an interview.
India, along with Brazil and China, is one of our three priority countries for Ireland's international scholarships, he said.
"We want very strong education ties with India. We not only want Indian students to come to Ireland but we also want Irish students to come to India.
"Ireland to grow, needs trade. If our students have international exposure, it will be easier for us to grow."
Several scholarships are on the anvil for Indian students.
"In 2013 we will be offering 22 scholarships. These will be extremely valuable: full fee waiver and Rs.700,000 stipend for one year.
"Last year, 15 scholarships were awarded to Indian students, more than to any other country," he said.
"To enhance ties with India, we are planning special scholarship for Indian students this year."
Several universities offer their own scholarships as well.
"We have announced 10 scholarships for Indian students," said Jim Dowling, deputy president of Dublin City University.
Cannon, with a team of representatives from different Irish universities, is visiting New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, organising education fairs for students.
The minister says Ireland promises job−oriented education.
"There is a strong link between academics, industry and research. Research and development is based on the needs of the industry," he added.
Cannon said the visa norm allows a student to work for a year after finishing their course and also provides for further extension when they find employment.
Cannon said: "The most popular courses for Indian students are ICT, life sciences, pharmaceutical, business management, medicine. Some students are also taking up hotel management."