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Foreign Education Institutional Bill 

India has a severe shortage of higher education institutions for its booming population. India has the second highest number of students studying abroad, after China. Over 500,000 Indian students choose to go overseas every year for higher education. The bill will allow foreign universities and institutes to set up campuses in India. They can be either totally independent or may set up collaboration with existing Indian institutes.
The Foreign institutes, after setting up campuses in India will offer a full-fledged foreign degree to the students, along with providing Global Exposure.
Bill states that
  • An eight-month time bound format has been prescribed by the government for granting approval to foreign universities to set up their campuses in India. For this the registration process is to pass through different levels to get acclamation and for the institutions to get finally registered with UGC or any other apex body in place for regulation process.
  • No quota laws will be compelled on these universities and the decision is left solely to their discretion to go for quotas or not.
  • It is also proposed that in order to set up their campuses in India these universities will have to deposit an amount ranging to Rs 50 crore as a corpus fund.
  • The key factor that will decide the interest that foreign players will take in setting their campuses in India is that they will not be allowed to repatriate the surplus generated from education activities.
  • The bill also has the provision to reject the application or registration of the university if it is not in terms with the regulations proposed.
The bill will help in ameliorating the Indian Economy by aiding in Liberalization and De-regulation. India currently has 220 million enrolled students, out of which around 14 million are enrolled for higher education. To increase this number, we need to establish high-quality institutes. 
Most foreign institutes will still demand a fee which will be out of reach of majority of the Indian students. Thus the entry may remain exclusive for the Wealthy class. Another bottleneck could be the existing Infrastructure, which fails to attract good quality institutes, and even foreign students. Foreign institutes will prefer to set up their campuses in the metro cities, causing inconvenience to students living in rural areas. Moreover, constant political interference is yet another headache. Most of the teachers will prefer to leave their current institution to teach in the Foreign Universities, which will provide better amenities and income. This may also further exacerbate the growing disparity between the rich and the poor.
Passing the Bill is considered to be a radical move for many. It can bring the change we need, to build a better India. After all, education is the first major step for India’s transformation from a Developing to a Developed country.
Satwinder Singh; “Foreign Education Bill: An analysis”; Readers Quotient; 30 March, 2010.


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