Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bill to allow foreign varsities likely to be finalized soon

The Union Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) will be sending the long-awaited legislation allowing for the entry of foreign universities in India for Cabinet approval this week. The note will be ready by Tuesday and will be sent to the Cabinet secretariat, said a senior official. The Foreign Education Providers' Bill will form part of a clutch of legislation to help the government put in place the basic framework of its higher education reforms agenda. Another legislation dealing with the prevention of malpractice in education institutes will be taken up by the group of ministers on Wednesday.

The foreign education providers bill has been pending for the last three years. Despite being cleared by the Cabinet in 2007, the bill could not be introduced by the earlier UPA government on account of objections from the Leftist parties. Forced to go back to the drawing board, the current UPA dispensation has made some changes to the original legislation. These were worked on and put in place by a committee of secretaries late last year. A senior ministry official said that there were one or two issues on which the Cabinet would have to take the final call. But they said these were not contentious issues.

Among the changes that are expected in the current proposal is the status of foreign universities in India. Originally, it had been proposed that they would be set up as deemed universities. However, with the concept under review and the ministry indicating its desire to phase out the concept of deemed universities, the foreign universities will have to approach the regulatory authority for permission to set up their Indian operations. This would mean the government would need to put in place the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) at the earliest.

An official said the bill to set up NCHER, the overarching regulatory body which will replace UGC, AICTE and NCTE, may be introduced some time during the middle of the budget session. A legislation putting in place a National Education Tribunal and making accreditation mandatory for all institutes of higher education has already been cleared by the Cabinet.

This news reported by Urmi A. Goswam
Source: The Economic Times, February 16, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive