New Delhi: Aproposed legislation to allow entry of foreign universities in India may not be tabled in the Parliament session scheduled in December because the ministry of human resource development has not finalized rules for deemed universities.
These rules would apply to foreign universities as the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill, 2007, proposes they be granted deemed university status before enrolling students.
Delayed process: Human resource development minister Arjun Singh. The ministry has not yet finalized rules for deemed universities. Kamal Singh / Mint
“We are still in the process of framing regulations on admission and fee structure for the deemed universities. Unless that is done, the Bill cannot be tabled in Parliament,” a ministry official told Mint on condition of anonymity.
The proposed Bill is holding fire after being cleared by the Union cabinet in February last year. Declaring foreign universities deemed universities would bring them under the ambit of University Grants Commission regulations.
However, a new clause in the draft Bill allows the government to exempt them from the provisions of the proposed legislation, making it possible for these institutes to avoid regulations on seat reservations and fee structures.
Foreign universities are currently not allowed to offer degree courses in India, although the country allows 100% foreign investment in the sector. However, nearly 150 foreign institutes offer courses with Indian varsities under a twinning arrangement—part of the course in India, the remaining abroad—that is allowed by the education department.