Niti Aayog has submitted its report to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), suggesting three routes to permit entry of foreign education providers in India:
- a new law to regulate the operation of such universities in the country;
- an amendment to the UGC Act of 1956 and deemed university regulations to let them in as deemed universities;
- facilitating their entry by tweaking UGC and AICTE regulations on twinning arrangements between Indian and foreign institutions to permit joint ventures.
NITI Aayog is of the view that, foreign universities will help meet the demand for higher education in the country, increase competition and subsequently improve standards of higher education in India.
India stands to gain from setting up of foreign universities in terms of availability of resources both human and financial, state-of-the-art teaching methodology, research and innovation.
The matter was referred to Niti Aayog when few political parties had advised against foreign universities setting up base in India.
Their key contention was that the coming in of the foreign universities would raise the cost of education, making it out of reach for a large part of the population.
The Aayog was thereby asked to study all reports regarding the setting up of foreign universities. The Prime Minister had called a meeting of senior bureaucrats last year, to discuss the feasibility of encouraging top foreign education providers. The proposal was backed by ten state governments, including Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.
digitalLEARNING View ::
Considering the large amount of outward remittances for supporting education in foreign universities, it would be a worthwhile idea to facilitate the opening of some of them on the Indian soil itself. This shall galvanize the entire space of higher education and shall boost health competition enabling some of the homegrown brands to catapult to global standards. Nonetheless, a level playing field would have to be provided by enabling regulations with due riders so that the foreign entities don’t advance their interests at the cost of homegrown ones.