In order to initiate an investment cell which would attract foreign investments for the education sector in the country, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has recently urged to the Human Resource Department (HRD) ministry. The timing of this demand is quite crucial as the Foreign Education Providers Bill which is capable of setting up of campuses of foreign universities in the countries in shelved for long by opposition.
The Secretary of DIPP has asked the departments of school education and higher education to make sure that they develop their own investment cells. These cells would provide huge amount of necessary information on varied subjects ranging from policies of the ministries and state governments, various incentive schemes and opportunities available in the market upon which the investors would take decisions over investments.
The interest of DIPP over the investment in education is seen as a little shady by experts. Indian policy clearly mentions that education in India is considered ‘not-for-profit’. There is a move in formation of the new education policy as well by the HRD ministry which is in the making process and right now a discussion is taking place from panchayat to that of the state level. The issue of profit in education is also getting discussed before formulating the policy. The HRD ministry is also willing to settle the issue of profit in education before the new education policy gets finalized.
According to a source, “Successive governments have played safe on profit in education. While the private sector investment in higher education has increased with clear profit motive, the government is still holding on to the Supreme Court order that said education is not for profit. Clarity is needed for the idea of investment cell to work.”
DIPP could also face hitch over the policy as the party presently in power BJP, had opposed the Foreign Education Providers Bill in past when the UPA government was in power. BJP has so for shown no interest to pursue the same either. Though the previous government had announced that 2,500 model schools would be made under Public-Private partnership, the development over the same is quite redundant. According to another source, “Model schools in PPP model have faced bottlenecks because of the lack of clarity on profit from education.”