Top government sources say this successful Chinese model should pass muster with those lobbying against the opening up of higher education to FDI (read: Left parties), even though the Centre allows it. Partnerships with institutions abroad deserve serious consideration, one source told FE. Significantly, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, the governments key interlocutor with the Left, has endorsed the proposals.
The proposed package also aims to do away with competitive exams like NET for fast-track recruitment of teachers on the basis of qualifications and merit obtained in college education. It also plans to convert at least ten universities into world-class institutions offering branch campuses and training programmes leading to dual degrees. The ministerial group working on higher education is currently debating the proposals.
The government is also working to evolve a policy framework to facilitate greater flow of private investment in higher education. These include the removal of entry barriers and simplified procedures.