Kapil Sibal
Kapil Sibal Welcomes Foreign Universities in India

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal says foreign universities like Harvard were welcome in India. He also clarified that the ministry wished to abolish the Class 10 board exams of only the central and not the state boards. 

"If Stanford, Harvard or MIT want to come here, then what's the harm in it?" Sibal maintained during an interview to Hindi news channel IBN7 telecast Saturday. 

Answering a question on whether foreign varsities would be sensitive to the Indian needs and culture, Sibal said: "We will not do anything which will harm children." 

"They will come to India on certain terms and conditions or else, we wont allow them to come," he added. 

On the Yashpal Committee's apprehensions on foreign universities coming to India, the minister said: "The Yashpal Committee is not a Bible. This is just a social dialogue and we will take into consideration everyone's views. Democracy means only that. 

"We will decide according to national interest. Recently I went to Malaysia where foreign universities are investing. The expenses incurred in educating a child there are just half of that in Australia. If the universities are giving same education in Malaysia at half the price, what's wrong in that?" 

On abolishing Class 10 board examinations, Sibal said he was only talking about abolition of the board exams under the CBSE (Central Board of School Education) not the state boards. 

"I talked about the 10th board and the national curriculum framework of CBSE system. CBSE is associated with the centre. I said that, in all the schools affiliated to the CBSE if a student wants to pursue his studies till 12th then 10th board exams should be made optional for him. 

"State boards are not connected with CBSE. So to say that we're interfering federalism is wrong. When we will try to bring uniform system, in which there are still 5-6 years, then we will talk with states. And we will start talking about it with states soon. We should plan for a structure of uniform exam...for entering universities. In my 100 days' agenda there is no such programme." 

The minister said: "We'll have a full-fledged discussion on this. Europe has IB (International Baccalaureate) schools in which schools of Romania, Czechoslovakia, France, and Germany are associated with it. Children are from different countries but they all appear in IB system. Here we are talking about different countries. 

"If they can have unified system so why not India? Unified system is also associated with quality. Pass percent in states is just 27 percent. This implies that 73 percent of students fail in the state boards. And if states will not try to improve the quality then and how will children compete?"

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