Par panel wants Centre to avoid Tri Valley repeat in India
Citing the Tri Valley University fraud in the US, a Parliamentary panel on Monday quizzed HRD ministry officials on measures to ensure that foreign varsities entering India do not dupe students.delhi Updated: Jan 31, 2011 21:50 IST
Citing the Tri Valley University fraud in the US, a Parliamentary panel on Monday quizzed HRD ministry officials on measures to ensure that foreign varsities entering India do not dupe students.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD, chaired by Oscar Fernandes, began examination of the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha in the Budget Session of Parliament last year.
HRD ministry officials faced some tough questions on the steps taken in the legislation to ensure protection against fly-by-night institutes that could set shop in the country.
"We want stringent measures to ensure that a Tri Valley University-like situation does not recur here," a member of the Committee said.
He said that there have been reports of some foreign universities shutting down operations abruptly in some countries like the UAE.
The HRD ministry officials sought to assure members that the Bill has enough provisions in place to ensure that institutions of repute are given clearance for operations in the country.
Another member said while there was a general agreement on the need to allow entry to foreign universities in the country, there were issues like availability of faculty and reservation for the backward class to ensure social justice.
Concerns were also raised on teachers and professors from IITs, IIMs and Central Universities taking up lucrative offers from foreign institutions which could put up an undesirable situation.
There are 22,000 colleges and 450 universities in the country and HRD ministry plans to double the figure in the next ten years as it focusses on increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio for the higher education sector from the current 13% to 34%.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who is a member of the HRD panel, sat through the two-and-a-half hour meeting is understood to have spoken in favour of the legislation.
Another member expressed concern over the lack of adequate consultations with stakeholders while preparing "badly drafted" Bill.
HRD ministry has sought one week time to respond to various queries raised by the members.
Some 1,555 students of Tri-Valley University, 90% of them from India, face the prospect of deportation following the closure of the varsity in Pleasanton, California on charges of selling student visas.