Ideological differences stalls foreign varsities bill: Ravi

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Chennai, Mar 7 (UNI) Ideological differences within the constituents of the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre halted tabling of the Foreign Universities Bill in Parliament, providing for collaboration between Indian and foreign universities, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi today said.

Speaking after the inaugural of the 'Global reach through foreign faculty and students,' at the SRM University in suburban Kattankalathur, Mr Ravi said 'The Foreign Education Providers Bill' was made by the Union HRD Ministry last year.

''It was ready last year itself. But due to some opposition from political parties within the UPA, it could not be tabled in Parliament,'' he said.

On the nature of differences, he said ''they are only ideological.

We are working on it to arrive at a consensus.

''After arriving at a consensus among the UPA and the coalition partners, it will be tabled in Parliament. The Bill is aimed at encouraging collaboration between universities in India and abroad to improve the quality of higher education in the country,''he said.

Citing the announcement of Ms Ji Yanping, Chairperson, Sailcon Education Group, China, that 300 students from China would be sent to SRM this year, Mr Ravi said this was one of the classic examples of growing friendship between the two countries.

''The world is now looking at India and China being very close friends and the agreement between Sailcon and SRM will help both the countries to work together in the field of education and usher in peace and prosperity,'' he added.

Ms Yanping said Sailcon had entered into an MoU with SRM for sending Chinese students to study in SRM and this would go up to 2,000 students in the next five years.

(Eds: Pls pick up suitably from earlier series).

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