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Should foreign universities be allowed in India?

This has been the subject of debate in academic circles for quite some time now. There are pros and cons and it would be safe to say that the opinion seems to be split right in the middle. The specious but at the same time the compelling argument is that the advent of foreign universities in India will save precious foreign exchange and also the brain drain would cease. Added to this fact the “pro” segment feels that top ranking universities coming into India would promote first class research in various and advanced fields perhaps leading to potential Nobel Laureates! Never mind that the Union Cabinet in March 2010 has approved the entry of Foreign Universities in India but the arguments continue to fly thick and fast. The point is that once the foreign universities step foot on Indian soil, the home grown universities would face severe problems such as competition in keeping with the high standards of these imported universities. One of the main worries is that the faculty of Indian Universities would be cannibalized by the foreign universities (read: Higher salaries) rendering Indian Universities at a disadvantage. If these aspects are safeguarded then there is definite benefit in allowing foreign universities here. There are many other facets that are germane to this topic, the chief among them being the economics of it all. Most importantly these foreign universities should not be allowed to repatriate back the monies they have earned in this country.

Indian higher education system has always been under intense scrutiny and it has always been criticized for its lack of global exposure. This rigid and monotonous outlook will get a makeover and a sea change would be seen in the functioning of Indian Universities if there is healthy competition from these foreign universities. It is heartening to note, however, that IIMs and IITs in India find that there is no threat to their existence if foreign universities are allowed to function in India. As long as top level foreign universities (which are accredited in these foreign lands) providing courses that are alien in Indian universities are allowed to function in India we can consider this policy as a win-win situation.

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