The central government is revisiting its earlier policy of not establishing any higher educational institute in foreign country. The switch in the government’s stand on the issue came into light after it was learnt that New Delhi is currently examining the feasibility of setting up Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) campuses on select few foreign countries including: Dubai, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka.
If it chooses to go ahead with this consideration, the government will soon come up with a framework to set up such institutions abroad.
“We need to take a call on the issue in light of the new foreign policy initiative. Internationalisation (of education) has political spin-offs as well,” reads a policy document on the subject.
“Requests from South Asian countries (Sri Lanka, Myanmar etc), requests from countries with significant Indian population (Mauritius) and requests from some international city states (Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar) for high quality Indian institutions to set up campuses or facilitate the setting up of an international campus has to be seen in the overall context of India’s global diplomacy and development priority,” it added.
According to sources familiar with the matter, a number of developing countries across the world have been requesting India to set up premier technical and management institutes – similar to the IITS and IIMs – on their soil. However, so far, the government only gave its consent to research, academic collaboration, and faculty exchange.
It is often argued that setting up higher education institutes will further distort the already-disappointing student-teacher ratio in many premier institutions. This is because, with every new Indian institute founded overseas, a large number of Indian faculties will also have to travel all the way to those countries to teach the students there.
“(But) with an expansion in the pool of faculty, in case of very pressing need for international engagement for strategic reasons of as goodwill gesture, a view may be taken in such matters,” the policy paper argued.