‘Give free land for 999 years to set up private varsities’

A Committee report on corporate sector participation in higher education headed by Chief Mentor of Infosys N R Narayana Murthy presented its report to the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Some of its key suggestions:

  • Promote private sector investment in higher education.
  • Government should allocate land free of charge for 999 years to set up an educational institution.
  • Land provided by the government to the private sector for setting up a new institution should have world class air connectivity and well-developed social infrastructure and such land should be usable for setting up academic facilities, incubation centres and technology parks. This should also be allowed for residential facilities for faculty, staff students and administration and other social infrastructure like school, college, recreation and health facilities for the institution, car and bus parking, restaurants, shops etc.
  • More liberal legal frame work for setting up of educational institutions in the country to draw private sector investment.
  • The higher education institutes should have liberty to accredit with the any global accreditation agency.
  • Visas for all academic and research visitors (faculty, student, staff, administrator, researchers) and that they should be exempt from current visa regulations of minimum salary norms ($25,000 per annum).

As per the Committee estimates over the next decade, India does not have ample eligible students and needs an additional capacity of 26 million seats.

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