Modi’s government is pushing to overhaul the South Asian nation’s heavily regulated education sector.
India’s universities have produced chief executive officers at companies from Microsoft Corp. to Google — now Prime Minister Narendra Modi thinks they can be even better with competition from global names like Yale, Oxford and Stanford.
Modi’s government is pushing to overhaul the South Asian nation’s heavily regulated education sector to woo nearly 750,000 students who spend about $15 billion each year pursuing degrees overseas, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said in written responses to questions.
The legislation — which will regulate the operation of foreign universities — is being prepared for approval by the parliament, where the government retains a significant majority. It represents a change of heart for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
“There has been lot of enthusiasm,” Pokhriyal said, noting that Australia’s government and some universities had shown interest in the proposal. “Very soon, India will have some of the finest, world-class institutions.”
However, The University of Washington, London School of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Western Australia were among institutions that said they have no plans of setting up campuses in India. Others like McGill University and the University of Sydney said they’re looking to expand their partnerships in India through new courses or research programs.
Pokhriyal is optimistic that overseas universities will set up their campus in India to tap the nation’s young demographics, with the World Bank projecting 34% of its population will be aged between 15 and 34 years by 2021. India had already entered into agreements on educational programs with 55 countries that include exchange of academics and students and cooperation on other initiatives, he said.