MHRD says entry of foreign universities benificial

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The Human Resource Development Ministry has answered the queries raised by a parliamentary standing committee on the entry of foreign institutions in India. The ministry has said that the proposed bill will limit brain drain and attract quality faculty from abroad. The ministry feels that the potential foreign education providers (FEPs) will help in brain gain as they are expected to attract quality teachers from abroad. Allaying all fears of probable mass exodus of faculty from Indian universities to the foreign ones, ministry said presently also teachers can switch jobs for better emoluments, research or teaching freedom. “Exodus of faculty, if at all it takes place after the entry of FEPs, will at least be within the country, not outside. Even today, certain outstanding teachers are leaving institutions and going abroad for various reasons. This trend can get arrested or at least slowed down,” it said. However, experts feel that a second level of teacher recruitments should be done by the institutions in order to face any eventuality. “There is a possibility that the FEPs will poach faculty from existing institutions. To meet that challenge, the institutions should create a second level of faculty. There is no dearth of talent in our country,” said educationist N.R. Madhava Menon. The parliamentary standing committee has also asked ministry that the bill might allow sub-standard colleges to open their shops in the country. To this, the ministry replied that only institutions with 20 years of standing in their home countries would be allowed to set up campus in India. But the president of the Federation of Central University Teachers Association, A.N. Mishra, was not convinced. “Twenty years of standing does not prove an institution to be an excellent institution in research and teaching. My impression is that only third-rung institutions from foreign countries will come to India,” he said. Former Delhi University vice-chancellor Deepak Pental also felt foreign institutions might not be interested in research here. “Do you think they will bring their research facilities to conduct high quality research here? Unless the government gives them some research grants, the foreign institutions may not be interested in science and technology. They may offer courses in humanities and management as these courses do not demand much investment,” Pental said.

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