24th September – Harvard in Hisar?

The dream of a foreign education could be realised closer home in a few years’ time.

 Harvard in Hisar

Details –

  • According to a news report, the government has introduced a provision in the Higher Education Commission of India Bill to allow the operation of foreign universities in India.
  • The bill aims to set up a single higher education regulator that will replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).
  • It has a clause stating that the new Higher Education Commission can permit “highly-reputed foreign universities” to set up campuses in India.

Significance –

  • The lure of an educational degree from abroad has always been strong. Many Indian students, especially after graduating or working for a few years, start eyeing foreign shores.
  • With fast-changing industry demands, people need to update their skills to global standards. A foreign education, however, is frightfully expensive. An undergrad student shells out over $70,000 a year to attend an Ivy League university in the US.
  • If educational costs are high overseas, at some part of it is on account of high living costs abroad. The same education imparted in India could be done a lot cheaper.
  • If premium foreign varsities enter the Indian education market, it’s quite likely that competition with domestic ones will drive up overall standards.

Way forward –

It’s possible that fees will also rise sharply, but that just means a robust system for student scholarships and loans would need to emerge.

Conclusion –

The government’s broad aim is to earn more foreign exchange, by attracting foreign students, and make “Educated in India” a tag worn with pride.


Also read: 23rd September – Deadlock in Afghanistan

QuestionThe issue of brain drain can be tackled by tweaking provisions in Higher Education Commission Bill to allow foreign universities to operate in India. Discuss.