Higher education as football match

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The governance deficit has turned higher education into a football match between the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) and the Prime Minister secretariat. In an office order dated August 12, the secretariat asked all “institutions coming under MHRD should seek prior approval of the Ministry before signing MoU with foreign institutions in case it has financial implications on the government of India.” Earlier this year, the Union Cabinet had instructed all ministries and departments to route all MoUs through it. Requested to exempt the higher educational institutions from this provision, the Cabinet decided to let IITs, IIMs, central universities, and other academies of higher education sign MoUs with foreign universities without going through official procedures. Now these institutions will have to route their proposals through MHRD in line with a circular issued on September 8 that calls for “strict adherence.”

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