A line of classroom control is being drawn by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for foreign institutes to toe.
The wing of the human resources development ministry, taking note of the sudden “proliferation of universities and institutes offering foreign degrees and diplomas”, has drawn up a list of things to do for the ‘outsiders’. The Council has also announced stern measures to be slapped if the guidelines are flouted. “The past few years have seen several students enrolling with such institutes. We have now decided to monitor the activities of these institutes for the benefit of the students,” explained adviser AICTE P. N. Rajdan.
Though there is no official data available on the number of such institutes in the country, sources confirm that in Calcutta alone, there are around 10 such institutes offering professional degrees of universities in Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand. The AICTE Regulations for Entry and Operation of Foreign Universities in India Imparting Technical Education, 2003, will apply to foreign institutions in the country, both existing and new. Besides, Indian universities or institutions offering degrees and diplomas of a foreign university through collaborative arrangements must also follow the AICTE directives.
All foreign institutes will have to apply for registration with AICTE after obtaining no-objection certificate from the concerned embassy in India; file a detailed project report, describing the infrastructure facilities, faculty, proposed fee structure and curriculum, to be reviewed by two committees, apart from submitting a comprehensive annual report to the Council.
“We will give the institutes six months to complete the administrative obligations,” said Rajdan. Failing which, action will be initiated, with the help of the ministries of external affairs and home and the Reserve Bank of India. “These will include visa restrictions for the personnel, curb on repatriation of funds from India and an embargo on advertisements,” warned Rajdan.
The initial reaction has been mixed. “We are just imparting education to students here, while the degrees and diplomas are given from UK,” claimed Wigan and Leigh College principal H. Dhir. But Kamlesh Mishra of Institute for International Management and Technology, Bengal, which has a tie-up with Oxford Brookes, UK, welcomed the AICTE’s monitor move.