Human Resource Development

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill seeks to regulate the entry and operation of foreign educational institutions seeking to impart higher education.
  • Every foreign educational institution intending to operate in India has to be notified as a foreign educational provider by the central government on the recommendation of the Registrar (Secretary of the University Grants Commission).  
  • Foreign educational providers have to maintain a corpus fund of a minimum of Rs 50 crore.  Upto 75% of any income generated from the corpus fund shall be utilized for developing its institution in India and rest should be put back in the fund. 
  • The central government may exempt any institution, on the advice of the Advisory Board, from conforming to the requirements of the Bill except the penalty provision and the ban on revenue repatriation.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • There are three views on the issue of foreign educational institutions operating in India.  Opponents argue that it would limit access and lead to commercialisation.  Proponents of the Bill argue that it would increase choices for students and enhance competition in the sector.  There are some experts who support limited entry based on the reputation of the institution.    
  • Present rules permit foreign universities to collaborate with Indian partners through various mechanisms.  However, few globally renowned universities collaborate with India.  It is not clear if the Bill would attract quality foreign universities given the stricter guidelines.
  • The Bill lacks clarity on what provisions the foreign institutions may be given an exemption from since they have to follow all other laws in force.  This effectively means that they have to conform to standards set by statutory authorities on curriculum, methodology and faculty and mandatory publication of prospectus.

Read the complete analysis here