Executive Council Member of the Delhi University, Abha Dev Habib, De-bunks the False Claims of the Modi Government on the Foreign Education Bill
The government is all set to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India and allow them to repatriate profits from operations here. As per the proposed plans, the Centre is working to make it easy for foreign universities to set up campuses in India in collaboration with local partners.
The NITI Aayog has submitted a report to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) in favour of inviting foreign universities to set up campuses in India. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked NITI Aayog to study all reports regarding setting up of foreign universities and the reasons on why it could not move forward. Governments in the past have made several attempts to enact legislation for entry, operation and regulation of foreign universities in the country. The first was in 1995 when a Bill was introduced but could not go forward. In 2005-06 too, the draft law could not go beyond the Cabinet stage.
The last attempt was by UPA-II in 2010 in the shape of the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, which failed to pass muster in Parliament and lapsed in 2014 since it was opposed by the BJP, Left and Samajwadi Party. One of the reservations on foreign universities operating in India was that they would raise the cost of education, rendering it out of reach for a large part of the population.
To discuss this, NewsClick interviewed Abha Dev Habib, executive council member, Delhi University. According to her the argument that foreign universities coming to India will stop brain drain is not valid and will not stop the phenomenon. Excerpts from the interview.