AICTE to crack whip against foreign varsities, Indian partners violating twinning rules

AICTE to crack whip against foreign varsities, Indian partners violating twinning rules

Foreign universities along with their Indian partner institutions will have to face criminal action if they offer any twinning programmes in technical education without prior approval of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

The technical education regulator has inserted a new provision in its regulations to take penal action against such institutions to check the dubious operations of the foreign universities and higher educational institutions in India.

"In case, it comes to the notice of the Council that a foreign university is running diploma/ post diploma/ degree/ post graduate degree/ post graduate diploma/ doctoral level programme in technical education in India directly or in collaboration with an Indian partner without obtaining approval, the Council shall initiate immediate action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for criminal breach of trust, misconduct, fraud, cheating, etc," the revised regulations stipulate.

As per the revised regulations, it will be mandatory for the AICTE to subsequently inform the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Reserve Bank of India of its action, recommending refusal or withdrawal of the visa granted to such foreign institutions' faculty and other employees.

The AICTE can also recommend that the government agencies concerned stop repatriation of funds from India to home country of the foreign institution found to have joined hands with any Indian higher educational institution for offering twinning programmes.

The revised regulations have made it mandatory for the AICTE to inform the public about the actions taken against such institutions.

The Council will withdraw its approval in case a foreign institution starts offering twinning programmes in collaboration with an Indian higher educational institution with prior approval of the regulator and later found to be violating the norms set for offering such programmes.

"Such foreign institutions shall not be allowed to collaborate or enter into a collaborative arrangement with any institution in India for at least next 3 years," stipulate the AICTE  (Grant of Approvals for the Technical Institutions) (1st Amendment) Regulations, 2017.

The Council, however, will have to give such foreign institutions and their Indian partners a "reasonable opportunity" of being heard through its standing hearing committee and standing appellate committee before withdrawing approval to their twinning programme and "forbidding" such foreign institutions to operate in India in collaboration with any higher educational institution.

Re-allocate students

"Once the approval of the twinning programme is withdrawn, the Council shall make attempt in co-ordination with the State Government/UT concerned to re-allocate the students enrolled in such programmes to other approved institutions of the Council, the revised regulations provides.

The higher educational institutions in such cases "shall" have to transfer "the entire fee," collected from the students, to the institutions in which such students are accommodated, it added.

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