The major central educational institutions from now on have to take permission from the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry before signing any memorandum of understanding (MoU) with any foreign players. The MoU’s which deal with financial aspects needs to undergo scrutiny of the ministry and after the ministry nod; the universities can proceed with the understanding.
According to HRD Ministry officials, “The communication from the Ministry came after an order from the Prime Minister’s Office in this regard.” The PMO order said, “Institutions coming under the MHRD should seek prior approval of the Ministry before signing MoU with foreign institution in case it has financial implications of the Government of India.”
The order has come in light of the delay in most cases by the universities to take up the post facto approval from the ministry. PM Modi was displeased with this form of practice by the universities and thus decided to implement the order instead. The order further said, “It is being noticed that cabinet notes on MoUs are being brought before the cabinet for its post facto approval or information after considerable delay from the date of signing of such MOUs. Prime Minister has expressed displeasure in this regard and directed that all MoUs that are signed by departments and are required to be brought before the cabinet for post facto approval or information must be submitted within one month of the signing of the MoU”.
In the month of April this year the cabinet had said that approval of cabinet would be required by the concerned ministries and departments in all cases involving treatises, agreements and other important matter including MoUs to be signed by any agency with any foreign agency/country. But in July, it exempted IITs and IIMs from any such method of taking approval from the ministry which has more than 50 such international collaborations.