Revisiting its earlier policy of not setting up higher educational institutions in foreign countries, the Centre is now considering opening Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) campuses in countries like Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Dubai.
As part of its foreign policy initiative, the government will soon work on a framework to set up such institutions abroad. “We need to take a call on the issue in light of the new foreign policy initiative. Internationalisation (of education) has political spin-offs as well,” a policy document on the subject said.
“Requests from South Asian countries (Sri Lanka, Myanmar etc), requests from countries with significant Indian population (Mauritius) and requests from some international city states (Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar) for high quality Indian institutions to set up campuses or facilitate the setting up of an international campus has to be seen in the overall context of India’s global diplomacy and development priority.”
Sources said many developing countries have been making requests for setting up premier technical and management institutions along the lines of IITs and IIMs. But so far, the government had only agreed to academic collaborations, faculty exchange and research.
An argument against setting up a campus abroad or sending Indian faculty in large numbers to facilitate the setting of a similar campus abroad was that the country was already short of good faculty and that quality of education was an unfinished agenda.
“(But) with an expansion in the pool of faculty, in case of very pressing need for international engagement for strategic reasons of as goodwill gesture, a view may be taken in such matters,” the policy paper argued.
Earlier a proposal by IIM-Bangalore to set up a campus in Singapore in 2006 was shot down by the government. More recently, IIT-Delhi’s MoU with Mauritius for setting up a research centre had also come under cloud.