Foreign Varsities to Help India Save $7.5 Billion
Date: Monday , March 29, 2010
If all the processes go well, the world’s best universities will soon be able to set up shop in India. On March 15, the Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010, was cleared by the Union Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Cabinet clearance has paved way for its introduction in the Parliament to regulate the entry and operation of foreign institutions, which will set up centers and offer degrees in India. This would be a boon, as an enormous amount of cash outflow will be checked.
“This is a milestone which will enhance choices, increase competition and benchmark quality,” HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said after the approval of the bill by Cabinet. Also, according to the industry body Assocham, allowing foreign universities to set up their campuses in India will help the country save up to $7.5 billion (about Rs. 34,500 crore) on foreign exchange annually that students spend on studying abroad.
Assocham President Swati Piramal says that students going abroad cost the country a foreign exchange outflow of $10 billion annually and foreign universities’ campuses in India could prevent at least three-fourths of students from leaving the country for higher education. “It will not only dramatically enhance the profile of higher education in India, but will also help it save outflow of foreign exchange,” Assocham says. The industry body says several foreign universities have plans to enter India, especially at places like New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Pune, and Mumbai.
The chamber says that over five lakh students choose to go overseas every year to obtain higher education, which includes professional courses in engineering, medicine, and management. Foreign universities in India would also prevent brain drain as large number of Indian students studying abroad opt to work overseas rather than returning home, Swati says.