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Updated: June 1, 2012 08:57 IST

Foreign Universities Bill: government trying ‘backdoor' entry

Aarti Dhar
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The Kapil Sibal-led HRD Ministry has asked the UGC to identify possibilities within the existing laws of regulating and allowing foreign institutions.
The Hindu
The Kapil Sibal-led HRD Ministry has asked the UGC to identify possibilities within the existing laws of regulating and allowing foreign institutions.

With the Central government unsure of getting the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010, through the Rajya Sabha, the Human Resource Development Ministry is now trying to allow “backdoor” entry to foreign institutions.

The Ministry has asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to identify possibilities within the existing laws of regulating and allowing the foreign educational institutions.

The two possible ways of going about it are allowing these institutions to enter as ‘deemed universities' under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or as private universities under the State laws.

At the same time, the UGC is also drafting regulations on twinning programmes and joint degree programmes between the foreign and Indian educational institutions.

These proposed regulations and the possibility of allowing foreign institutions into the country are likely to be discussed at a special meeting of the Commission scheduled for June 2. This comes just ahead of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal's tour to Washington for the Indo-U.S. Strategic Dialogue this month, during which he would like to make some announcements on joint programmes to encourage foreign educational institutions into India.

Allowing foreign institutions as deemed universities or private universities under the State laws was proposed when Arjun Singh was HRD Minister, but the plan was shelved.

But rather curiously, the Commission's meeting, scheduled for July 21, was re-scheduled and advanced to June 2, no agenda has been circulated. Normally, the agenda is mailed to the members at least a week in advance. The Commission generally meets after a gap of six weeks to two months. On Saturday, it will meet within 10 days, sources in the UGC told The Hindu, adding the members were orally told that an important issue on the “entry of foreign institutions to India was to be discussed urgently.”

The meeting is likely to witness fireworks as many Commission members will oppose the proposal on the ground that they were not consulted.

 The Bill was tabled in Parliament in May 2010, after it met with resistance from the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party during the United Progressive Alliance's first term in office. It was subsequently sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which submitted its report in the monsoon session of Parliament, recommending major changes. There has been no progress after that, as the government does not have the numbers in the Rajya Sabha.

The UGC can regulate Indian universities on issues related to twinning programmes as well as joint degree programmes, but has no jurisdiction to regulate foreign universities.

As per a study conducted by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), 631 foreign education providers were operating in the country in 2010. Of these, 440 were functioning from their home campuses, 5 opened their own campuses in India, 60 had programmatic collaboration with local institutions, 49 were operating under twinning arrangements and 77 had arrangements other than twinning or programmatic collaboration.

Foreign universities wants to come to India to capture high profile talent pool of professors and teachers at low cost. It will open the doors for foreign students coming to India to get much better education at lower cost. The increased demand will raise the overall cost of education but it would still be lower than foreign countries like UK and USA. LArge no. of Indian student who are struggling to cope up with the current cost will be be forced to stay away from the higher education with the increased cost. This is going to spoil the next generations. We must oppose it.

from:  Naresh
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 10:24 IST

Allowing foreign universities on indian soil is not a good option. Instead, india government
should invite best professors in various disciplines from foreigncountries to comein India, to
conduct research, and education programs.Similarly, it should depute a large number of
professors toworld best universities. This will bring scholarship and scientific ambince to
indian well performing universities. This is the way Japan had adopted. It invited professors
on their terms and conditions to teach in japanese universities, about 100 years before.
China is adopting this method today.
This method will strengthen our universities.
We need to improve governance of higher education. The visions and missions,
policies&practices, systems&procedures in the light of world best universities needs to
beimproved.this will beeasier with exchange of professors. Indian professors inUSA have
performed well, because their systems are good. Our professors in India are behind
because the systems are poor.

from:  BM Naik
Posted on: Jun 2, 2012 at 19:26 IST

Generally university education and gaining academic certificates are mere waste of time, efforts and money. In deed, majority of noble prize winners never had formal education. Similarly, most world leading entrepreneurs who foundfirst created MNCs never had university degrees. Even millions of degree holders in these days are struggling to get relevant or even some jobs. What goes wrong? The simple answer is, the government have failed to develop true skills required in a given period to create real wealth. Another myth among our countrymen is higher the academic achievements would result higher the earning power. A university level education is generally nothing but a pathway to develop personality as well as to improve innovative ideas of an individual. That is, learning is a continuous process beyond a classroom environment. Therefore, both mass media and government should educate our people how to gain true skills directly relevant to micro and macro level wealth creation.

from:  Jay
Posted on: Jun 2, 2012 at 10:58 IST

So what is the problem if there foreign universities as long as they provide education at par or better than similar Indian outfits? India has so many young people who are clamoring for quality education and there are not enough colleges or universities to admit them all. I think some people got their priorities wrong and barking up the wrong tree. I suggest take some chill pill and let the young people and their parents chose the universities they want to get educated from. India's biggest wealth is its human capital and more education opportunities available the better to train and make use of that human capital.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Jun 2, 2012 at 00:08 IST

The Foreign Universities are only here to make money at the expense of
the Indian students and put more students into debt and we will end up
like what is happening in USA, where Millions of students have thousands
of dollars of debt even before they can start their careers. Instead
govt should see to it that they setup up Universities and world class
Institutes to serve the growing population so that they can get good
education at affordable prices.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 23:50 IST

India faces a serious quality problem in higher education— given that
only a tiny proportion of the higher education sector meets
international standards. Given the inadequate funds and the shortage
of qualified professors adds to severity of the problem. Academic
salaries do not compare favourably with remuneration offered by
India's growing private sector and are uncompetitive by international
standards. Many of India's top academics are teaching in the United
States, Britain, and elsewhere. Even Ethiopia and Eritrea recruit
Indian academics by offering good salaries. The foreigner universities
are expected to provide the much needed capacity and new ideas on
higher education management, curriculum, teaching methods, and
research. It is hoped that they will bring investment. It is further
hoped that they will bring investment.
As an alternative India can also set up more of its own higher
education institutions with foreign collaboration rather than foreign
institutions setting up their campuses here. India should welcome
foreign universities, which would be good to its requirements of
millions of educated and skilled human resources. It should set up as
many institutions as possible more so drawing from collaboration and
experience world over.

from:  Prof.P.Madhu Sudana Rao
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 19:11 IST

When some foreign students were on a visit to a prestigious IIT in India, they were secretly laughing at its dismal state. Sorry, but none of our educational institutes can compete with the western counterparts: esepcially in infrastructure.

from:  Padmakumar Rao
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 18:59 IST

Good idea, to allow foreign universities in Idia and may give a very good education and hoping it should be free from reservation then the education will become a world standard.

from:  K S REDDY
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 16:09 IST

It,s all sound nice to hear that more Govt. institutes and no private. But what happened in India before 1991, only very few Govt. institutes even in those institutes only the rich upper strata of the society willl get admission. Most of them from these meritorious left the country to serve the westerners.If the govt. would have spend that money in the primary education atleast our village folk would have had literacy which would have served the country better.Only after private institutions are allowed now every Tamilnadu citizen is assured an engineering seat if he opted for one. Certainly things are better now than it was before two decades ago.I couldn't understand why should govt. fund the tertiary education when it only benefit the minority of the upper strata of the society and foreign countries.Alowing the foreign universities will increase the competition and therby increase the efficiency of the present institutions.We need more investment in tertiary education

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 15:39 IST

I cant believe the opposition to such a path breaking legislation here
in the comments section. The government should remain in lower levels of
education which is where it needs to do more. Higher education is niche
and specialised and a place where government should move out of and just
become a regulator. IIT's are doing well because they are autonomous not
because the government runs them

from:  Vineet
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 14:52 IST

India needs huge investment in Primary Education. In India, there will
be ~500 million people with less than 5 years of schooling by year 2015.
It will cost Rs. 60000 Crore investment per year @ Rs 100 per student
per month. Can we get foreign investment there?

from:  Mita Tarafder
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 13:25 IST

I am amazed in fact baffled by the ignomity of Indian leaders.
Maybe it is best that Indian swallow their pride and take page out of the book from the UAE
The UAE went on a war footing creating infrasturcture for western universities. Most nationals and expats stopped going overseas to study, reducing the flow of captial overseas and created a sense of patriotism among the youth who know use their education to develop their own country. I've persoanlly seen this and was amazed because it is now far superior to what is in the west. I live in the west.
But I cannot fathom why India is so backward in making such strategic decisions.
THe fact is the whole world knows of the poor standard of institutions, the corruption, the exam paper leaks, poor quality of teaching etc etc. It is so bad that you only have to stop at a western consulate - Indians craving to go overseas to study.
Wake up India. the country is going down the tube fast

from:  PETER
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 13:01 IST

It is obvious that no celebrated university is going to set foot in India through foreign universities bill.
And I feel top Indian universities are better than whichever university entering India. The only thing they might do is increase the cost of higher education in India.

from:  Gowtham
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 13:02 IST

There are more than 500 Engg colleges in each state of Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Half of these are of very poor quality. Stop allowing them to start more unless they follow the high quality and standards.

from:  Raja Pamarthi
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 12:44 IST

what i personally think that ,this issue is very vital for our growth.india is really devoid of infrastructure .to balance the health, fertilizer,food ,education in global crises situation is not an easy job.
foreign universities will provide foreign investment ,higher education,competition in education,global exposure .which i think india is in strong need.
there can be some devil behind the curtain. black to white conversion,fee hike, impact on our home grown institute..
everything has some pros and cons ..this can be an excellent opportunity to our talent .it will impart a different dimension to our foreign culture have, more practicality will be injected.. it is an education reform lets see how fruitful the tree of the seed will be...

from:  sunil sharma
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 12:42 IST

Many many universities (mostly private in the US) are under severe financial
pressure. They need money to even exist as they are--many have shut campuses
or reduced admin and teaching staff. Research funding has been cut across North
America, EU and other parts of the world. No new appointments are being made.
They need money--and they are coming to Asia (Singapore, Malaysia already have

On a separate note: it is still the white man's burden--to educate and civilise the
savages. Universities are no longer into learning and inculcating opportunities for
wisdom--they are about skill learning and controlling/manipulating others (nature
and its beings).

from:  venkat
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 12:34 IST

Advice to foreign universities -
After you come in and establish yourselves, government will pass a
retrospective amendment on fees, admissions, governing body and
My advice - don't touch India. Look at Qatar, Dubai and Saudi. They give
you land, grant and respect. India gives you none. Stay away.

from:  rohit
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 12:19 IST

We all look out for Foreign education because the Indian Education system doesn't provide enough opportunities to learn from the practical experiments, I think Indian Government should allow the foreign universities only if they have a back up research and development centers along with a similar curriculum design we get in foreign universities.

I totally disagree to the fact that we end up getting into debts, because if we are able to get education along with right opportunities why should we get into western countries for the same.

Its time for the Industry and Education system to come together and show a right direction for the future generation, else we would always be in the supporting roles than in Innovating and entrepreneurial roles.

from:  Phani
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 11:52 IST

Kapil Sibalji first introduced reservation in I.I.Ts. Then intake had been increased to five fold, followed by abolition of JEE.Now he wants foreign universities to come and set up campus in India. Hah! everything is clear! Kudos to Kapilji ! May his breed continue to rule us until all our institutions reduce to ashes !

from:  Viswanath
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 11:35 IST

Some of the Universities in India even headed by secularists and
communists [false] are not following reservation in the recruitment.
What they say is that Universities are not the dumping place for
SC/STs. How can it be ensured in foreign universities in India!
Regulations to form these Universities should also be seriously taken
these aspects of reservation in admissions of students and the
recruitment of faculty.
Imparting quality education is good whether it is foreign or National

from:  Rajesh Komath
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 11:18 IST

foreigners investing in India, they want to make profit and not for the
benefit of Indian people.The middle class and lower income group people
already in trouble and If we are allowing foreigners to invest in our
education sector we will be in more dangerus situation.

from:  samuel thomas
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 11:12 IST

The Government should think twice before allowing foreign universities to setup campus in India. Elite universities like Harvard, Oxford are not going to set up their campuses. So India should not become a destination for mediocre universities whose sole motive is to mint money. Already increased private medical colleges in the country have corrupted the medical profession. Let this not be a precedent and creep into other streams of education.

from:  Sudhindra
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 11:03 IST

The Government should think twice before allowing foreign universities to setup campus in India. Elite universities like Harvard, Oxford are not going to set up the campuses. So India should not become destination mediocre universities whose sole motive is to mint money. Already increased private medical colleges in the country have corrupted the medical profession. Let this not be a precedent and creep into other streams of education.

from:  Sudhindra
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 10:55 IST

The positive aspect of the matter is :
of course we Indian student are brilliant and do much more batter than what a Foreigner student do. But there is no limitation of doing best. If such university will establish his feet in our country we would have an opportunity to meet world renowned faculty as well as world renowned research centers which our country lacks.
the service or job opportunity for us people will increase. the unorganized job will also increase which has a huge percentage in sharing our economy in our country.The infrastructure development will take place.And if the universities are opened in our country the several branches of the institution will spread throughout the country it may be my village also.It will also attract the student from all over the world
Negative aspects.
It will downgrade our established university. because people think foreigner best. No doubt, "The Big Market for The Big People"
A huge amount will transfer from India.

from:  Om Kumar
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 10:35 IST

the government's own investment in education, especially at higher
education is negligible. Adding to this the standard of the so called
elite institutions like IITs and Central Universities is pathetic. The
libraries in these institutions are relics compared to their western
counterparts. what we need is more investments from the govt and
performances from the existing institutions.

from:  jagadeesh
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 10:13 IST

I will encourage this move as education should not be considered as business all the time. I being in Europe realised that Indian education though quite good cannot compete with the west just because of lack in infrastructure. There is not even one labs within Indian Universities (Including IITs and IISc) that can stand in comparison to the university labs here. Though many countries are hesitant to invest their money for education in a foreign country, UK has initiated this process in many places, for eg. University of Nottingham Malaysia. These universities are benefiting as they participate in exchange programs specially in research. This will definitely benefit students in India to see the quality of research in developed nations. Hope there will be genuine interest in both sides to share knowledge and not just to make money. This is more so in Indian context as nothing moves without paying someone.

from:  Oommen
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 10:01 IST

Why this frantic attempt of a back door entry Mr Sibal? It would be
instead be appreciable if you could channelize this energy in
resurrecting and developing domestic educational institutes by providing
better funding and vigilance.

from:  Vijeta
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:59 IST

It's true that the quality of education will improve once foreign institutes come to India. But will it have any positive effect on less privileged people or to RTE ??

from:  Preejesh
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:39 IST

This is just marketing and business. What we need is improvement of facilities and hiring the best faculties who can inspire the students. We dont need brands. If MIT, Harvard, cambridge all were the greats, tell me how many people got out of those institutions and did great things ? Not many !! compared to that, our poeple who came out of IITs are much better. Please dont sell our country and make it a market place also in education !!!
I wish Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi was the minister in charge. He really did some great things to the research institutions during his time !!

from:  Joseph
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:36 IST

what he is doing???? congress should remove him from that post.... they have ruined every sector now they are doing it for education sector... we shouldn't allow foreign uni. in India as we r facing lot of trouble in private insti. run by politicians... don't know what will happen in foreign uni.... kapilji think abt education or Poor janata... Education is really become difficult for poor in India... we should work on that instead of making fucking policy like calling foreign uni... making one test for all Engg colleges... increasing academic fee of IITs..

from:  pradip
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:10 IST

Allowing foreign institutions still worsen the prominence of Govt universities. Sad part is, We transcend from most core valued education to high-tech studies in which every thing taught to be an outsourcer.

from:  Prithvi
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:09 IST

Foreign Universities Regulation Bill is an admirable method of making sure certain standards are shared between countries.Sometimes the motives of different people are not achieved and at different times a variety of results are achieved. It is uncharitable to say that it is meant for ulterior purposes other than to achieve better standards for students and faculty in the country.

from:  Prof.Paul.V.John
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:08 IST

@gogoi... our students spend millions of dollar in funding MS and MBA
dont you think it will be cheaper if these quality institutes are in
India. Talking of "brilliant" education system...which school did you study in India which is brilliant as compared Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford , Carnegie melon . dont speak like: garibi hatao..

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:04 IST

The problem with Mr. Sibal is that he does not have any intention to improve India's condition. What will happen that bad universities of US wll come to India to make money. I am sure MIT, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley like top univs will not come. Anyway a student who is interested can always study open courseware of MIT. Stanford and Harvard have similar programs. This bill is for making more money for Italy. Dare publish it Hindu.

from:  Shiv Shankar Dayal
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 09:04 IST

I am strongly agree with Ravi and Pradyut's comments. We have such a good talent and education system then why do we need foreign universities and even we should try to improve our existing univerisities. Now the questions are, Are these universities would be reachable to poor? Would it be affordable? What would be the education standard? In history subject what they will teach us, "it was good to had British and other rulers"? Would they teach us our ancient language 'Sanskrit'?

from:  Chetan Dodiya
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 08:57 IST

I would differ from the views of our honorable HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in this regard. The need of the hour is an encouraging number of government institutes, rather than adding foreign universities to the colossal & pricey private education sector in India. Indian minds have been known for its brilliance for a long time. Brain drain is persistent here for years. Setting up foreign universities will further strengthen this problem.

from:  Kangkana B
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 08:52 IST

Reservation is always the main agenda for congress party. Hopefully they are loooking for lots of money by allowing the foreign institutions just like other scams. The biggest scam has to come yet by congress party. Shame on you.

from:  Abhijit
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 08:50 IST

While India has many very good Universities,it still cannot provide places for some very bright students who fall out in selection due to the dreaded class quota system. Overseas universities will hopefully provide opportunities for such students, not all of whom can afford to go abroad to take up tertiary educations. Furthermore, overseas universities will be potentially providing the best facilities that are not always available locally. These are the areas that our laws can look into. India will also benefit from new concepts and standards that outside institutions can bring in to the country to enhance our systems already in place.

from:  S Singh
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 08:49 IST

This is a step in the right direction, will definitely serve as a foreign exchange earner as well as attract international students benefiting knowledge sharing. Good Luck.

from:  Merwin Victor
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 08:39 IST

Welcome decision, the competition will improve the educational
system,improve quality in education and help students realize the
importance of understanding concepts.Lot of indian university have less
endowment resulting in lower research funding.Most students have to go
abroad for performing research , this can help people perform more
research locally

from:  Vickram
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 08:25 IST

I strongly oppose this decision of our honourable HRD minister Mr.
Kapil Sibal. It's only a Business deal to allowing foreign
institutions into the country. We the citizens of India have brilliant
educational institute which are producing lots of brilliant students
in India. The foreign nations are hiring our brilliant students which
are studied educated from Indian universities and colleges. We never
heard about hiring of foreign brilliant students for making profit in
India. In such a case, my question to the honourable HRD minister, for
which need of India we have to allow foreign universities to set up in
India and export huge profit to Foreign nations. We are already in a
situation of downward GDP Growth. Is it not an unnecessary addition to
downward GDP to the country.

from:  Pradyut Gogoi
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 07:27 IST

We need more government colleges instead of foreign universities.

from:  Anuj
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 07:09 IST

Allowing foreign universities to set up shops in India is the step in the right direction. It will be equivalent to opening and liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991. But will this set the precedence for the rich to become super rich and help in filling the pockets of the bureaucrats and political leaders.

from:  Venkata Raman Aiyer
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 07:05 IST

Rabindranath Tagore wanted the Universities to come forward and extend its activities to spread non formal education among the less privileged of the vilages in India.He also stressed the writing and publication of
useful text books in vernacular for the purpose.The UGC may take this in
to consideration when it sits on a meeting on Saturday.

from:  Sisirendu Dasgupta
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 05:28 IST

How about reservation in foreign institutes operating (or looking to operate) in India?

from:  ravi
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 05:22 IST

The date is advanced to 2nd,June because the Annual "secret" meeting
of the master of Indira congress party,The Bilderberg,is ending on 3rd
June[starting today].Expect many such "tricks" from the indira congress
party in the Monsoon Session of the parliament,to CHEAT our beloved
nation.Watch for news items during this period.Please google for:-

from:  Sadasivan
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 04:32 IST

These Foreign Universities are trying to get into India not to provide Good education at low cost which can be accessible for all people, but to provide cheap class education with Fancy names and charge very heavy fees and force people to take loans to study these courses. Soon Indian students will follow their US counterparts in having large debts even before they start their careers. The Foreign Universities who are behind the scenes backed by large corporations want to make us take the bait they are offering and make Indians slaves to debt from which there is no escape and this should be opposed by everyone who values his freedom.

from:  Jayaram
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 04:26 IST

Why exactly the BJP and the left were united in opposing foreign
universities setting up shops in India is anybody's guess. But we all
know that starting an educational institution is an easy way to
launder one's hard-earned black money into white, and multiply it at
the same time. The possibility of foreign universities in India might
severely trample the dreams of wannabe "educational philanthropists" with deep dirty pockets.
Apart from that, any such entrepreneurial act should be welcome, when the system of higher education in India is in such a dismal state (with pockets of excellence, of course), and when Indian students are willing to spend any amount on getting a decent education. Any wannabe science teacher with interest in teaching does not have to serve as a bonded labor for a pittance to these "philanthropists" or take flight to western shores, when he can get a job of international quality right at home, if he is qualified enough.

from:  Hemachander
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 03:51 IST
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