New Delhi: A panel set up by the government to draw up a reform road map for the higher education sector has recommended that only the top 200 foreign universities be allowed to enter the country.
The Yash Pal committee’s report, submitted on 24 June, comes as the government prepares to table in Parliament the Foreign Education Providers Bill, which will seek to regulate the entry of foreign education providers into the country.
The report, Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education in India, reviewed by Mint, suggests that only the best foreign universities be allowed to function in the higher education sector to avoid fly-by-night operators. The report also calls for a strict regulatory framework to bring such universities on par with Indian universities.
“Before taking any decision on allowing foreign universities to operate in India, we have to be very clear about the purpose it is going to achieve,” says the report compiled under the chairmanship of eminent educationist and physicist Yash Pal.
“An open licence to all and sundry carrying a foreign ownership tag to function like universities in India, most of them not even known in their own countries, would only help them earn profit for their parent institutions located outside or accrue profit to the shareholders,” it adds.
The report also recommends that the degrees awarded by such universities be recognized as “Indian degrees” awarded by universities in the country, and they be subjected to all government rules and regulations. It, however, does not discuss the issue of caste-based reservations at these universities.
“We anyway do not see too many best foreign universities coming to India,” said Ananth Krishnan, a member of the Yash Pal committee. “This recommendation is to prevent third-grade universities from entering the Indian education sector. We are not opposed to good universities coming to India, but extreme caution is expected.”