House locked,so HRD pushes foreign univs through UGC route

Foreign Education Providers Bill,has remained stuck in Parliament for nearly three years now.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:September 11, 2013 12:56 am

The government is set to open the door for foreign universities in India through a non-legislative route. The HRD ministry has sent proposals to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) to allow the universities to set up campuses as companies under Section 25 of the Companies Act,1956.

Related: Objections to foreign varsity Bill

The top 400 universities on Times Higher Education,Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) or the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) by Shanghai Jiao Tong University will be eligible to set up campuses in India once they are notified as Foreign Education Providers (FEPs) by the University Grants Commission.

Foreign varsities Bill: HRD Ministry rejects ‘by invitation only’ proposal

The HRD ministry’s most reform legislation,including the Foreign Education Providers Bill,has remained stuck in Parliament for nearly three years now. With legislative approval unlikely,the ministry has,since late last year,been working on routing the proposal to allow foreign universities in India through UGC regulations.

“As per the powers vested with the central government to make rules under the UGC AcT,the ministry is in the process of finalizing the UGC (Established and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Educational Institutions) Rules by which foreign universities can set up campus in India and issue foreign degrees… Both DIPP and DEA have supported the proposal,” the ministry said in a statement issued today.

Foreign educational institutions would have to enter through an association,to be registered as a company under the Companies Act. The institutions must be not-for-profit legal entities that have been in existence for at least 20 years,and accredited by an agency of that country,or by an internationally accepted system of accreditation.

To be notified as an FEP,the institution must maintain a corpus of at least Rs 25 crore. The FEPs must offer programmes of quality comparable to those at their main campuses. Any FEP that violates rules would be liable to be fined between Rs 50 lakh and to Rs 1 crore,and the forfeiture of the corpus fund.

Degrees awarded by the FEPs would be treated as foreign degrees,and would be subject to the equivalence accorded by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) as per their system,say the rules.

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