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Delay in passing the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill may affect plans of foreign universities to have Indian presence

Published On: 11 Oct 2012 | Last Updated On: 11 Oct 2012

The delay in passing the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill that will allow entry and operations of foreign universities in India has affected their plans to set up campuses in the country. The bill was presented in the Parliament in 2010 when about 50 foreign varsities expressed their interest to have presence in India and since then it is pending.

Earlier the ministry of human resource development received around 10 queries from overseas universities in one month, but now hardly any university enquires. The ministry argued that the universities have lost their interest in setting up operations in India due to the long delay.

Based on the suggestions of the standing committee, HRD ministry had made changes in the Bill but still it is pending for other bills to get through.

Earlier several foreign institutes such as Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Virginia Tech, University of Alabama and University of Southern California were keen on setting campuses in India. But there is a doubt if their plans still stand.

In the mean time ministry has reviewed some provisions in the Foreign Education Providers (Regulation) Bill to encourage more foreign players to set up campuses in India.

Based on the recommendations of the standing committee, ministry has revised the minimum of corpus of Rs 50 crore for an international player to start operations in India. The corpus will not remain as Rs 50 crore for every institute as decided earlier but will depend on some classification. For example, for medical courses, the corpus would be more than Rs 50 crore while for vocational, engineering and other programs it would be less than that.

The rules have been revised after education institutes such as vocational training institutes, community colleges, general education institutes, medical colleges and professional colleges has shown interest in opening campuses in India.

The ministry is also planning to revise the provision which restricts foreign educational institutes from using more than 75% of the corpus funds for developing the institute in India. The ministry is considering a norm where these institutes will be allowed to utilize the surplus for developing the institute after a fixed lock-in period.

Many crucial Bills including Foreign Education Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, Educational Tribunals Bill, National Council for Higher Education and Research, 2011 and others are pending in parliament.

Source: Business Standard

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