Home / News / India /  India restricts academic collaboration with China

NEW DELHI : Indian colleges and universities cannot have academic cooperation with Chinese counterparts without prior permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs.

The academic restriction also applies to existing agreements, which the central government has now said, will not become operational without approval from the home and foreign ministries.

“In additions to other clearances, prior approval of the MHA and MEA must be taken by all the academic institutions/universities before signing off MoUs, educational exchange programs, agreements and joint declarations of intent etc...with Chinese universities and institutions," the University Grants Commission (UGC) said in a letter to all universities in the country. Mint has seen a copy of the letter.

UGC, which is the apex higher education regulator of India, has said its direction follows a communication from the human resource development ministry.

The move assumes significance as India and China are expected to have a second informal summit later this month, though the dates are not known yet. The first informal meeting last year between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping was held at Wuhan in April 2018.

“For those universities (including private universities and academic institutions), who have already entered into MoU with Chinese universities must seek clearance from MHA for operating the MoU. And till a clearance is obtained, no activity should be performed under the MoU," the UGC said asking varsities for compliance of the order.

Though the exact number of such agreements are not known, UGC in its letter has said a number of Indian universities have signed agreement with Chinese varsities for students and faculty exchange programmes and for opening Chinese language centers.

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