The Union Education Ministry has invited world's top ranking universities to set up their campuses in India.
Indian embassies spread across the world have approached top varsities, telling them that they will be given full freedom to decide the curriculum. However, foreign universities in India will have to follow some rules that are being set by the ministry.
According to the ministry, once these rules are approved, online applications will be invited from foreign institutions wishing to set up their campuses in India. An expert committee will also be constituted for this.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) within a month will bring out a rule book for setting up campuses in India. According to the UGC, on the basis of the recommendations of the expert committee, the 'fee structure' at the Indian campuses of these foreign universities will be decided keeping in mind the affordability of the students.
According to UGC Chairman Professor M. Jagadesh Kumar, the interest of the country as well as the universities will be kept in mind while framing the rules and regulations.
Foreign universities setting up their campuses in India will be given substantial freedom. They would be allowed to operate according to their own policy in terms of curriculum scheduling as well as faculty appointments.
Academics and other day-to-day activities will not be interfered with in the campuses of these varsities to be established in India. However, Indian regulatory bodies will ensure that foreign universities function within the prescribed rules.
Significantly, many higher education institutions in India have started exchange programmes with world-class foreign universities. IIT Delhi said that they have tied up with a major Australian university for a special PhD programme. Under the agreement, students enrolled in Australia will study in Australia for 3 years while for the fourth year they will have to come to IIT Delhi for further studies. Similarly, students admitted to IIT Delhi will study at IIT Delhi for 3 years and will be provided an opportunity to go to Australia in the fourth year of their courses.
In a significant initiative, dual degree programme has also been approved in collaboration with Indian and foreign universities.
Meanwhile, additional 25 per cent seats would also be created in Indian higher education institutions for foreign students.
As many as 250 foreign institutions in 60 countries have been identified for the dual degree programme. Under this, norms have been relaxed to enable Indian institutions to create additional seats for foreign students.
According to the ministry, the previous government's efforts to invite foreign universities were stalled due to lack of consensus on subjects such as regulations, faculty, fees and academic curriculum. This time, while finalizing the rules, the world ranking for foreign universities will also be considered.
The UGC Chairman has said that India is not only inviting reputed foreign universities but foreign students are also being encouraged to study in India. For this, 25 per cent additional seats are being created in educational institutions for foreign students. Further, keeping in mind the interests of foreign students, higher education institutions will have to set up an 'office of international.