Be careful in choosing institutes abroad: Sibal to students

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Expressing concern over radio-tagging of scores of Indian students duped by a "sham" USuniversity, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today appealed to thestudent community to be more "careful" in choosing theirinstitutes while going abroad to pursue higher studies.

"We are concerned," he told reporters here when askedfor his reaction on the incident, adding the External AffairsMinistry is handling the issue.

"People should be careful when they go," he said,adding, there are institutes here too who are also notrecognised.

He also sought to allay fears that the passage ofForeign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry andOperations) Bill would encourage fly-by-night institutes toset campuses here, saying the Bill has enough provisions tostop such institutes from entering into the country.

"Foreign universities have to go through separateregistration process and should also fulfil the requirementof 20 years of existence. There are other conditions attachedalso," he said.

A few members of the Parliamentary Standing Committeeon HRD had yesterday sought stringent measures to ensure thata Tri Valley University-like situation does not recur herewhile discussing the Bill.

Asked about his Ministry''s demand from the forthcomingBudget, he said they have sent a proposal for a "substantialincrease" in budget allocation which is required for the fullimplementation of the RTE and fulfilling the agenda of thehigher education sector.

The Budget allocation for education sector was Rs45,711 crore in 2010-11.

Noting that several of the reform measures initiatedin the higher education sector are "on track", he said theMinistry had a meeting with the Planning Commission today onthe Innovation Universities bill and "they are on board nowwith us".

Asked whether medical education would be included inthe proposed National Commission for Higher Education andResearch, Sibal said a "national consensus" has to be evolvedon the issue.

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