At present, the government is in the process of finalising the guidelines for allowing international universities to set up campuses in India. These guidelines will be made available for public soon. The existing laws do not allow international universities to set up campuses in India. It is not possible for the international universities to enter into India without tying up with the local institutes/ varsities due to the existing laws.
A high-level official revealed that they are in the process of considering the Bill, and the same is open to views from relevant experts.
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Over eight years ago, the government received Cabinet’s approval for the Foreign Educational Institutional Bill, 2010. However, the Bill was not approved/ passed by the Parliament of India due to the lack of consensus. In 2014, former HRD Minister, Smriti Irani tried to frame guidelines for international universities. However, the proposal remained on paper and it never took off.
The Bill is still pending to be taken up and will move forward after the release of the final draft. The final draft of the Bill is expected to be open for suggestions from relevant stakeholders before it is tabled in the Parliament. The final decision in this regard will be taken in the next 3 to 4 weeks.
According to sources, over 50 – 60 international universities/ educational institutes evinced their interest to set up campuses in India. However, the existing laws did not allow these institutes to start campuses in India.
Already, some international educational institutes are operating in India by collaborating with local entities. For instance, Schulich School of Business, Canada offers MBA course in India in partnership with the GMR School of Business. At present, over 700 international education providers operating in India offer courses through partnerships.