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All reforms laws in education will be in place in 2010: Sibal

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal promised that all reforms laws in the education sector, including regulations for allowing entry of foreign education providers and setting up of an overarching body, will be in place this year.

New Delhi: Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday promised that all reforms laws in the education sector, including regulations for allowing entry of foreign education providers and setting up of an overarching body, will be in place this year.

Speaking at a programme on Boston University Indian 2010 Global Leadership Summit, he said the reforms are long overdue and 2010 will the year of "deliverance".
"By 2010, all regulations relating to reforms in education will be in place. This is a promise," he said.

The government has initiated six major legislations for bringing reforms in education.

These are legislations for setting up of a overarching body replacing the existing regulators like UGC and AICTE, allowing entry and operation of foreign education providers in India, setting up of a national accreditation agency, setting up of educational tribunals, having a law to check malpractice in educational institutions and a law to set up a national educational finance corporation.

To a question, he said the foreign universities, which want to set up campuses in India, will be exempted from implementing reservation in admissions.

"There is no reservation law for private educational institutions. The same provision will be apply to the foreign education providers which are not government institutes," Sibal said.

Sibal said the aspiring foreign universities can either set up their campuses or go for partnership with Indian institutions after the Foreign Education Providers Bill is passed.
"If they want, they can have full fledged campuses. I will advise them to get a partner in India and involve in providing education and conducting research. The government is committed to facilitate the process," he said.

Sibal said the Indian institutions should use the expertise of the foreign universities.

"You cannot replicate Yale or Harvard here. We can take their excellence," he said.

The government has prepared a draft bill on Foreign Education Providers Bill which will be sent to Cabinet for approval. Once this bill is passed, the foreign universities will be able to come and set up campuses here.

Boston university President Robert A Brown said that his university is very keen to be involved in India`s education sector but would make a study before deciding whether it will set up a campus and start partnerships.

"The market is highly segmented in India. There is a great need for quality education at a price point. We are enthusiastic about that," he said.

Sibal said the government wants to set up 14 innovation universities on various themes and these institutions will earn revenue from various areas, including research.

Brown, however, differed from Sibal on the proposed economic model for the Innovation Universities and said that major funding will have to come from tuition fee.

"This is not going to work. In our university, 50 percent of revenue comes from tuition fee despite the university having a billion dollar of Endowment fund. The universities here will have to depend on tuition fee," he said.

Sibal retorted back, saying that the investment involved in setting a university in India will be less than the cost in the US.
He said institutes should not be charge exorbitantly on students. They can generate revenue from other sources.

The government will set up a Higher Education Finance Corporation to provide funding to poor students for study. The students can pay back the money over a period of time, he
said. The HRD Ministry has prepared a bill to set up the corporation.

The loans will be made available for students pursuing professional courses, he said.


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