Foreign universities and educational institutions could soon be allowed to set up campuses in India as per the draft regulations made public by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- What has the UGC proposed?
- What does the NEP say?
What has the UGC proposed?
- The draft regulations for foreign higher educational institutions setting up campuses in India have been announced by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- These regulations allow top 500 global ranking foreign universities or reputable foreign educational institutions in their home jurisdiction to apply to the UGC to establish a campus in India.
- The campus will have the autonomy to set its own admission process and criteria, fee structure, and to recruit faculty and staff from India and abroad.
- However, these institutions are not allowed to offer programs that could compromise the national interests of India or the standards of higher education in the country.
- They will also be permitted to have cross-border movement of funds.
- In the past, there have been attempts to bring foreign universities to India, such as the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill introduced by the UPA-II government in 2010, which was not passed due to opposition from various parties including the BJP, Samajwadi Party, and left parties.
What does the NEP say?
- The National Education Policy (NEP) says that the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India through a legislative framework.
- According to a former adviser for education in the erstwhile Planning Commission, “the draft regulations don’t follow the text of the NEP, rather uses it as a pretext.”
- He explains that while the NEP talks about creating a legislative framework, the government is following the regulatory route.
- Critically, the NEP also proposes attracting the top 100 universities, while the UGC draft permits universities with top 500 global rankings.
- The objective in promoting India as a global education destination is apparently aimed at saving loss of foreign exchange.
- Nearly 13 lakh students were studying abroad in 2022 and as per the RBI, ₹5 billion was lost in foreign exchange due to students going abroad in FY 2021-2022.
- The larger goal of the NEP is to take the gross enrollment ratio (GER) in colleges and universities to 50% by 2035 from the current 27%.
- But online education and private institutions will not benefit those who have no access to education; it will merely offer more choices to the upper and middle class who have 100% GER.
-Source: The Hindu