The Human Resourse Development (HRD) Ministry is being pushed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to open an investment cell to attract foreign investments in the education sector. This comes in the backdrop where the Foreign Education Providers Bill that could have resulted in setting up of campuses of foreign universities remains shelved.
DIPP secretary has asked departments of school education and higher education to set up their own investment cells. The proposed cell will provide necessary information on a vast range of subjects, such as policies of the ministries, and state governments, various incentive schemes and opportunities available to make it convenient for investors to take decisions.
Foreign education provider (FEP’s India) is the initiative of the Government of India to allow the foreign universities set up their educational campus (colleges and universities) in India. The foreign institutions must have to clear certain parameters financially and academically, before they can establish education in India.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani has decided to focus on a legal framework for allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India and curb unfair practices by education institutions as part of the human resources ministry’s legislative agenda.
It may be mentioned that as a policy decision, education in India is considered ‘not-for-profit’. In fact, the issue of profit in education is one of the components of the proposed new education policy currently being discussed. The HRD ministry wants the issue of profit in education to be settled before the new education policy is finalized.
“Successive governments have played safe on profit in education. While the private sector investment in higher education has increased with clear profit motive, the government is still holding on to the Supreme Court order that said education is not for profit. Clarity is needed for the idea of investment cell to work,” a media report said.