New Delhi: Foreign universities entering into agreement with their Indian counterparts for offering twinning programmes will have to be among the global top 500.
The Indian varsities on the other hand, should have received the highest accreditation grade, according to the new set of guidelines approved by University Grants Commission on Saturday.
"The underlining objective is to ensure that only quality institutes are permitted for offering the twinning programmes to protect the interest of the students," a source said after a meeting which cleared the regulations on twinning programmes.
They said foreign varsities entering into tie-ups with Indian partners should be ranked among the top 500 by the Times Higher Education World University Ranking or by Shanghai Jiaotong University of the top 500 universities.
Besides, the degrees will be awarded only by the Indian universities for their acceptability in Indian market. Institutes failing to abide by the guidelines would be panelised including stoppage of grants.
The set of guidelines comes in the backdrop of growing concerns over the quality of foreign institutions that domestic colleges are collaborating with for twinning programmes.
Twinning courses have become sought after for Indian students in recent times, even though they are exposed to several risk factors owing to absence of some regulatory framework so far.
Foreign educators prefer adopting twinning mode to operate in India because they have least stakes and maximum income. Indian students, on the other hand prefer twinning because the total cost is less in exchange for a foreign degree and international exposure.