Centre to regulate foreign varsities

Centre to regulate foreign varsities

Foreign education Bill likely to be tabled in the ongoing Parliament session

While entry of foreign institutions with dubious quality would be prevented, those who would be allowed to function here would have to conform to the rules and regulations of the government, Sibal told the Lok Sabha.The Foreign Education Providers’ Bill was prepared during the tenure of Arjun Singh, but was dropped due to the opposition from the Left parties.

Now with the Left parties out of the block, the UPA government is going full-steam with the bill that would allow foreign universities/institutes to open campuses in India. The bill has already been sent to the Cabinet for its approval and is likely to be introduced in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament.

“We will not allow our children to be exploited by foreign education providers,” Sibal said replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.

He said another legislative proposal is also under consideration for prohibiting and punishing those inducing students to take admission in institutions not recognised by the appropriate statutory authorities.

Dropout rate

The minister also said his government would launch Madhyam Shiksha Abhiyan programme to check the dropout rate in higher education.    

“We want to take Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan forward as Madhyam Shiksha Abhiyan as the drop out rate increases in higher education,” he said during Question Hour.  On the issue of complaints regarding diversion of funds by states under the SSA, the minister added the performance audit report for 2001-02 to 2004-05, submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in August 2006, indicated that Rs 53 crore can be classified as expenditure not covered under the SSA guidelines.    

In addition, reports from states have indicated instances of financial irregularities, he said, adding, the SSA scheme is under constant review by several bodies.

“The government has directed the states and Union Territories to recover the inadmissible expenditure to the state SSA programmes. They have also been strictly instructed to avoid recurrence of such instances in future,” the minister said.

Sibal also ruled out the introduction of “uniform syllabus” in all universities

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