Allow varsities to hire foreign faculty: Montek

The Plan panel on Friday supported changing laws to allow varsities to hire foreign faculty.

New Delhi: The Plan panel on Friday supported
changing laws to allow varsities to hire foreign faculty and
said it is aiming an increase in enrolment ratio in higher
education to 30 per cent in the next 15 years.

"Indian universities must have an international flavour,
international students, international staff. This would not
happen unless the government removes the restriction on
employment of international faculty.
"Unless this is changed it will be difficult to make it
to the top grade," he said.

Under the existing rules, Indian universities are not
allowed to recruit foreign faculty.

The challenge before planners, policy makers and
educationists, both in the public and the private sector, is
of producing the world class Indian universities that could be
counted among the top 200 rating list, he said.

"In the next 20 years we must see a significant number of
educational institutions in that category," he said.

He said the 12th Plan Approach Paper has laid special
emphasis in making primary education more widespread and
higher education more research-based.
Ahluwalia added that expansion of higher education has to
be balanced with equality of access, especially for those
living in areas where educational institutes do not exist.

"For higher education, the 12th Plan objective is
expansion, equality of access and excellence," Ahluwalia said.

"The objective is to raise the enrollment ratio in higher
education from the current level of 15 per cent to 30 per cent
over the next 15 years," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman
Montek Singh Ahluwalia said while addressing the FICCI Higher
Education Summit 2011 here.

Ahluwalia also came out in support of awarding government
scholarships to meritorious students from private institutes.

"We also need to do a lot more on research funding. We
could do with more philanthropy but that will take time to
come. So government funding has to increase," he said.

According to estimates, the total public spending in
education in India stood at USD 30 billion or 3.7 per cent of
the Gross Domestic Product in the last financial year.

Meanwhile, private spending in education was estimated at
USD 50 billion, which is expected to grow to USD 115 billion
by 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary for Education in
Scotland, Michael Russel said, "We are looking at education in
life sciences, biofuel and liberal arts as major areas where
lot of exchange can take place. There are 4,000 Indian
students in Scotland, the second biggest group of overseas
students, and we are keen to increase the numbers and also
send students from our country to India."
The Scottish minister is here with a 35 member delegation
for the FICCI conference.

Lin Tsong-ming, Deputy Education Minister of Taiwan, said
his country will be offering incentives, including scholarship
to the tune of USD 1.5 million, for Indian students to come
and study in universities in the East Asian country.

"Besides, we are willing to extend help in teaching of
Chinese here, including providing study material and
teachers," Lin said.

There are around 450 Indian students in Taiwan at
present and the aim is to take the number to 2,000, he added.


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