What Happened to Foreign Education Bill

As India strives to be an economically developed country, only youth and students can help the country move forward. Keeping these in mind foreign education bill was passed more than a decade (1995) ago in the Rajya Sabha only to get it shelved. Precisely if foreign education bill is passed, our country will be allowing educational Institutes from other countries to set up campuses. Around 50 to 60 Institutions from USA and other developed countries have set their eyes to establish institutes in India and offer courses.

The quality of our education system is deterring; entry of foreign institutes will make things better as these Institutes will set bench marks and students no longer need to fly west for higher education. One may wonder as to why MHRD and other ministers delayed it for 15 years, one primary reason is that according to our legal system no foreign university can offer degree in Indian soil. Mr. Kapil Sibal the minister of human resource development has been meeting representatives from other countries who expressed interest in setting up campuses here. Few Institutes which expressed interest are Harvard, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University which are Institutes of high repute. (via) In the  recently concluded higher education summit between India and USA Mr. Sibal has stressed that India needs stronger collaboration with USA for higher education related

Although Indian Institutes make lot of noise in our own soil but when it comes to representation globally our Institutes including IITs and IIMs are not ranked in the top 200 universities list.ISB Hyderabad, IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Bombay are few institutes which make news in the global rankings. IIM Ahmedabad made it’s debut in the Financial Times global business school rankings only this year despite it’s presence from 60 years. IIM A was ranked at 11 and ISB Hyderabad secured 13th rank globally.

Indian educational institutes lack research and innovation for this reason India has not created a Harvard or Cambridge, the reason can be attributed to lack of funding. In developed countries like USA millions of dollars are spent yearly for research and innovation and universities receive funding from volunteers who are either ex alumnus of the University or big corporates who donate money for spending on research, development and innovation. In India chances are very less that somebody who have studied will comeback and make a donation to the Institute or University.

IITs and IIMs are centrally funded Institutes which allow students to study at subsidized fee and general public are the one’s who are indirectly contributing for these students education. Hardly there is any one who have ever comeback to IIT or IIM and donated something for these Institutes.

Indian government is soon going to propose a new scheme where in students will have to pay back to the Institute after he or she secures job, I am of the view that it has to be implemented as soon as possible for the students from the centrally funded Institutes such as IITs and IIMs. Students from Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) post their education work in India for a couple of years and settle in abroad countries such as USA & UK. Shouldn’t we realize that the government is spending too much on these students only to allow them leave our country and work for MNCs and pay taxes in their countries.

Western countries are attracting lot of talent from India and Indian companies are constantly failing to retain top talent, primary reason being huge salary difference between India and other countries. Once this foreign education bill is approved Indian can also be a globally competitive country and attract students from other close by countries, student inflow turns into revenue while student outflow is revenue for other countries. It is estimated that yearly$4 billion is spent on fees by Indian students for studying abroad, the situation can be reversed more over students who move abroad for higher education gets work permit for 2 to 3 years and find full time jobs to settle in those countries.

The advantages of passing foreign education bill out weighs any disadvantages it might have, so the government should act fast and make it a reality.

Share your views, should we be allowing foreign universities in India?

Facts and numbers are extracted from an article published on Business Standard. You can view the same here.

Also read Schulich School of Business is Coming to India

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