What are the regulations announced for foreign universities in India?

Source: The post is based on the article “What are the regulations announced for foreign universities in India?” published in Indian Express on 7th January 2023

What is the News?

Higher Education Regulator University Grants Commission(UGC) has released draft regulations to allow foreign universities to enter India.

What are the key provisions of draft regulations to allow foreign universities to enter India?
draft regulations to allow foreign universities
Source: Indian Express

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What safeguards has the UGC proposed in these draft regulations to secure the interests of Indian students?

The draft states that the UGC will have the right to inspect the campuses at any time. They will not be outside the purview of anti-ragging and other criminal laws. 

The UGC can also impose a penalty and/ or suspend/ withdraw its approval at any time if the university’s activities or academic programmes are against the interest of India.

The regulations also require foreign universities to submit audit reports and annual reports to the UGC certifying that their operations in India are in compliance with FEMA 1999 and other relevant government policies.

Why did previous attempts to allow foreign university campuses in India fail?

Governments in the past have made several attempts to enact legislation for the entry, operation and regulation of foreign universities in the country. 

The first was in 1995 when a Bill was introduced but could not go forward. In 2005-06, too, the draft law could only go up to the Cabinet stage.

Then in 2010, the then government brought the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill which failed to get enough support in the Parliament. The bill lapsed in 2014.

One of the main reservations against foreign universities operating in India was that they would raise the cost of education (high tuition fees, faculty poaching from public universities), rendering it out of reach for a large part of the population.

How does this proposal relate to the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020?

The NEP 2020 says that top universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India and a legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.

In a way, the draft regulations released only seek to institutionalize the NEP’s vision.

 

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