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Delay In Foreign Education Bill Drop India Plans

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Foreign Varsities Drops India Plans
In 2012 Indian parliament introduced Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulations of Entry and Operations) Bill, less than 50 foreign Universities showed interest in setting up operation in India.

After two years, their interest seems to have declined and the reason is not hard to interpret. "Delay in passing the Bill has affected sentiments. People no longer come to us showing interest to be a pert of the Indian higher education system," said an official of the Ministry of Human Resource Department (MHRD).

"earlier we would receive about 10 enquiries from foreign players a month, nowadays, we hardly get any. These is a limit to which people can wait and people who mean business will certainly not hold on for ever," added another ministry official.

MHRD officials said following the standing committees recommendations on the bill, the ministry had finalised its view. However, it is holding on till some of the other Bills get through.

The Ministry officials said, "We do not know of the plans of foreign universities still stand. It is the overall atmosphere that matters. Besides, right now we are not worried about the interest of foreign universities. The priority of passing the bill".

Some of the educational institutions, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tale University, Virginia Tech, Columbia University, University of Southern California and University of Alabama, had earlier expresses interest to have an India presence.

Meanwhile, the MHRD had reviewed certain rules in the foreign education providers bill to attract more institutions looking to set up market in India.

The recommendation by the standing committee has led to a revision in the minimum corpus of Rs. 50 crore for a foreign institution to set up campus in India. However, corpus will not be Rs. 50 crore for every institution as envisaged earlier instead, the corpus will be based on certain classifications. For instance, for engineering, vocational fro medical programmes, it could be less than Rs. 50 crore whereas for medical programmes, the corpus could be more than that, which the health ministry will decide.

The norms have been modified after all the educational institutions, general education institution and medical institutions had expressed to interest in setting up operations.

The MHRD will also review the pre-condition that stipulates that a foreign education institution can't utilised more than 75% of the corpus fund towards development of the Institution in India.

An official explained that, "A Rule in the Bill said you create a corpus, which will see an accretion, But at no point will the institutes be able to utilise more than 75% for development of the institution. Besides, no part of revenues can be repatriated. You can, however, use 100% of the same for the further investment on the institute".

MHRD is hopeful that bill will be passed in the forthcoming winter session.

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